For avid fans of Arizona’s “Emo Group,” Lovely, Little, Lonely, might come out as an experimental record that begs for deviation. Music critics have labelled it more pop and indie-sounding, a far cry from their debut album. But one thing’s for sure, The Maine has added new elements in this record that hasn’t been done in their previous incarnations, which is rather a hit or miss for new listeners.
The album’s constant online teasers kept us up to date with the quintet’s creative process - from vlogging their typical recording day to immortalizing late night jamming sessions on Instagram. But unfortunately, the hype gave it all away, leading to slight disappointment for fans that anticipated more from the band.
Lovely, Little, Lonely opens with a signature The Maine riff in Don’t Come Down – an anthem of a song that seems to translate the euphoria in being able to let go. It’s followed by the well-received single, Bad Behavior, which I believe captured the band’s alternative rock yet melodic sound.
One distinct addition in the album would be the interludes that divide the songs into chapters, with each title track derived from the album name, “Lovely, Little, Lonely." Hence, making the entirety a form of narrative, with each interlude assisting the storytelling.
But if there's anything frontman John O'Callaghan wants to convey, it's the essence of showing that "boys" can be vulnerable too. After all, what's being labelled an "emo band" if not for the actual expression of genuine emotions? It is mostly evident in the latter part of the record in songs like Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu, I Only Wanna Talk To You, and the last track How Do You Feel? - a song that John was able to channel his inner Morrissey in through the opening verse, “Dearly depressed, and broken-hearted, I’d like to let you know that boys cry too.”
The Maine remains to be one of those bands who would rather stick to authenticity than focus on creating meaningless pop hits. Though this album might not have resonated with older fans, it is safe to say that the band has matured well enough to still be able to execute a part of nostalgia we will always revisit.
Listen to the album here:
Track Gems: Don’t Come Down, Taxi, Lost In Nostalgia, Bad Behavior
Photo Credit: 8123