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Music Reviews

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Review by Alyson Stokes | March 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM

“The old can feel brand new.”

Behind all the sugar and all the sweetness surrounding American Candy, The Maine just gave a huge fuck you to any critics while simultaneously awarding diehard fans with a highly anticipated, saccharine collection of savory pop-rock songs, fueled by nostalgia and injected with an assortment of fresh, revitalized flavors.

It’s no secret fans of the Arizona quintet have been questioning what’s next, with some even criticizing the band’s latest efforts and their seemingly abrupt departure from the more pop-punk laden days of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (2009). But after barrelling through major record label qualms surrounding their sophomore release Black and White (2010) and pioneering their way through two independently released albums, Pioneer (2011) and Forever Halloween (2013), which ventured further off the beaten path, even The Maine’s truest fans questioned whether or not the band had indefinitely parted ways with their early pop-rock days and transitioned entirely to the likes of alternative rock.

But “English Girls” and “Miles Away” couldn’t have been better choices for American Candy’s first two releases, as they successfully highlight the band’s return to their more upbeat, energized pop-rock roots. It’s affirmation The Maine never left, and they aren’t going anywhere.

Sure, maybe the guys are wearing a different tie, but they’re wearing the same suit—and they’re in the exact same skin they were in six years ago when they played “Girls Do What They Want” on stage for the very first time. As vocalist John O’Callaghan sings “The old can feel brand new / I feel so fresh / I feel so new (and improved)” in the album’s second track “Same Suit, Different Tie,” it’s evident even the band recognize their transition but maintain they’ve been themselves throughout their much talked about progression over the years. The highlight? The record’s title track oozing with quintessential catchy pop styles and lyrics that’ll be stuck in your head for days.

Ultimately, The Maine give authority the middle finger in “My Hair” by asserting that they’re basically going to do whatever the hell they please, and in ten tracks, the band seem to give an apparent ‘I don’t give a rip’ attitude toward any accusations that they may have changed, been inauthentic, or deliberately altered their sound to please a certain crowd. But, what The Maine have done in American Candy is prove that they still kick ass—and they kick it pretty damn hard.

Buy It, Stream It, or Skip It? Buy it because this is one sugar rush you won’t want to come down from.

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