Album Review // THE MAINE ‘You Are OK’
Empowering and reminding you that you’re not alone in your struggles, the newest album from The Maine acts as an encouragement that You Are OK.
Twelve years later, we’ve arrived at the seventh studio album from The Maine; You Are OK. It’s an amalgamation of old and new, with tracks like Slip The Noose and One Sunset sounding like they could’ve been lifted off the band’s debut album, whilst Tears Won’t Cry (ShinjŪ) and Numb Without You are a clear deviation from what we’re used to yet we’re still able to distil the very essence of the band.
Opener Slip The Noose packs in blistering riffs that sound like they could belong in My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade, parading a sense of triumph over the biting lyrics underneath. A song about shedding the skin of the person you used to be, with the ever so polite instructions to ‘give two fingers to the person that I used to be’, it sets the tone of self-discovery and acceptance that characterise the album.
My Best Habit definitely brings out one of the catchiest choruses on the record, with bright guitars and an effortless bass line. Defiantly declaring ‘My feet are mine to follow, you don’t get to decide’, it’s a pick-me-up for anyone who is having second thoughts about the path they have embarked on.
Dramatic strings flourish in the opening of Numb Without You, before it drives into an urgent tempo as the snare drum patters away exigently. Heaven, We’re Already Here delivers on the theatrics with its building textures; repeated strings and intermittent drums of the opening heightens the suspense, before culminating in an explosive chorus of soaring chords and thrilling vocals. If this song doesn’t rouse you to go out and make the most of your life with lyrics like ‘we will never be this young again, so full of fire and rebellion’, then you would be lying to yourself.
An acoustic breather in the form of Forevermore opens an earnest longing to retain the positive feelings of the present, as John confesses ‘I wanna feel like this forever’ and the occasional whoop mixed in only cements the optimism of this track. The sleazy guitar lines of Tears Won’t Cry (ShinjŪ) embodies the free-floating spirit of the lyricism, but sometimes the ‘woo’s just feel a bit too forced and fake after it’s recurred a few too many times.
Finale Flowers On The Grave spans an impressive 9 minutes and 23 seconds, wrapping up the essential question of the album; ‘So tell me, are you OK?’ A bittersweet acknowledgement that life will take you on rides that you may not have expected, it’s a coming to terms with this knowledge in a dazzling sonic journey of electrifying guitars and buoyant drums. Singing ‘You don’t plan life, you live it’, this record is sure to be by your side when plans go awry, and reminds you that no matter what happens, you are ok.