An album review on The Maine’s 6th full album Lovely, Little, Lonely.
While a lot of indy and alt rock bands get big through mainstream attention and jumping to a big label, there are some bands that spread almost completely through word of mouth until just about everyone has heard the name in one form or another. There is a massive amount of consistent work to get attention that way and for word to spread, but it’s been proven to work for many bands. The Maine, not from Maine as many believe but actually from Arizona, are a band who got their attention from their name spreading after touring with bigger bands until they were followed by thousands of fans. Now ten years after the band’s formation comes their sixth full album Lovely, Little, Lonely being produced entirely on their own.
According to The Maine, the new album was written with the intent to push their own boundaries and create something out of a comfort zone. Traveling between New York and California for the writing process the band wanted to make something that listeners can connect with. In an interview online with The Prelude Press, Kennedy Brock said: “This record is an emotional rollercoaster and I think there is a healthy amount of the ups and downs to be taken from it. I want this record to be there when you need it. Happy or sad and everything in between.”
One attribute that I have always placed with The Maine is their ability to create a unique rhythm and background to their songs. The stage is setup perfectly with the mood and style all for the standout elements to take charge. Whether it’s their slower and more peaceful tracks or the more energetic ones that resemble the days of summer in teen movies, you can hear a strong base in each song they create. It’s overlooked by many bands who just want to blow out ear drums and go straight for a hook, but The Maine take their time and set up a base well.
“Bad Behavior” is the energetic alt rock single that is guaranteed to be on a lot of college girls summer playlists. The guitar riffs start the track strong while the backbeat and rhythm is mellow enough to let John O’Callaghan’s voice stand out. It’s simple but easy to listen to and sounds like a Warped Tour anthem. Like “Bad Behavior” there are other tracks that have that energy on top of a good rhythm like “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu” and the album opener “Don’t Come Down”. On the flip side there are slower and more calming tracks including the three broken up title tracks “Lovely”, “Little” and “Lonely” which seem like connected interludes that sound great but leave you wanting much more as they are so short. The deeper and softer sounding tracks on Lovely, Little, Lonely I think have the most replay value. The more energetic singles on this album aren’t bad but they are admittedly a bit forgettable. Tracks like “Lost in Nostalgia” and “I Only Wanna Talk To You” which are back to back later in the album give much more depth and feel like the real songs that could connect with just about anyone.
“Lost In Nostalgia”, the three title tracks, these songs all feel like something not only unique but somehow inspiring to listen to. I understand the statement from Kennedy Brock about being an emotional roller coaster and these songs thanks to the music from the rhythm guitar and bass are the reason for that. On the lyric side there is a lot to take in and you can tell that there is meaning in most of these songs, but it’s some of the more upbeat single style tracks that feel the most lacking. They aren’t bad in any way, but there isn’t much appeal to them. “Do You Remember”, “Taxi” and “Don’t Come Down” all have that feeling. There are still high moments in some of the energy however.
The Maine have a big underground following for a reason and they have proven they definitely know how to play and perform a great live show. While this album is good I feel that the strongest points of it are the quitter ones AND the ones in the background on the lower half of the songs. The higher end with the vocals and guitar aren’t bad, but they overshadow some gorgeous work that really should get more attention. Overall, Lovely, Little, Lonely should make fans of The Maine happy and give them more of a reason to connect with them. The pros definitely outweigh the cons and even though there are some tracks that may not register, there is still a lot to appreciate on this album that you need to hear to fully appreciate.