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CD Review: Hanson – Underneath

Joshua Lane / / No Comments

Hanson – Underneath
List Price: $16.98
Audio CD (April 20, 2004)
Label: 3CG


1. Strong Enough to Break
2. Dancing in the Wind
3. Penny & Me
4. Underneath
5. Misery
6. Lost Without Each Other
7. When You’re Gone
8. Broken Angel
9. Deeper
10. Get Up & Go
11. Crazy Beautiful
12. Hey
13. Believe

A couple of months ago, I had heard that Hanson was going to be releasing a new CD. I remember thinking to myself… “so what?”. Fast Forward to a couple of weeks ago, and I started catching some reviews where a lot of critics were praising the new disc and saying how wonderful it was. So, I bit the bullet and purchased their single “Penny & Me” off of iTunes and I haven’t looked back since. Their new CD is full of great tracks that show off the band’s growth as both artists and song writers. Their music has matured into a dirtier, more rock and soul infused sound, while still maintaining their pop sensibilities… think Gavin DeGraw, Maroon 5 or Jason Mraz.

Since I mentioned “Penny & Me” in the previous paragraph, let’s start their with a closer look at some standout tracks on the album. That track, in particular, is probably the most “pop” song on the album with a catchy hook that harkens back to the boys’ early days. However, don’t let that turn you off, this song shows off how much the band has grown over the years… both literally and musically. Another favorite of mine is “When You’re Gone”. This is an acoustic track with a slow and plodding sound that lets the lead singer show off his considerable vocal abilities. The track immediately following is “Broken Angel” and this is the one that made me think “…this is a really good album”. My general rule is that I should like AT LEAST 3 tracks on a CD for me to consider it a really good purchase. “Broken Angel” fills that requirement with a beautiful piano/drum/vocal arrangement that, by far, has the most impressive and emotional vocals on the entire album. Lastly, I want to touch on “Crazy Beautiful” which is, like “Penny & Me”, an upbeat rock/pop track that is one of those songs that can uplift and energize you. I find myself replaying this song more than any other and have come to consider it my favorite track on the whole album. But it doesn’t end there! The final song on the CD, “Believe” is a soft and emotional song that, musically, is probably the most impressive on the album. The arrangement, the vocals, everything is top notch here and it displays a maturity and talent that the band have truly earned in my opinion.

Look, we all remember “MMMbop” and I know that is a bit of a black mark on Hanson’s career. However, if I were to look at this CD as if it were their debut album, I would be very impressed and think this band has a bright future ahead of it. I think that’s how everyone should approach this release and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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