Classic Album Review: Hanson | Underneath

By | May 28, 2024

Tinnitist

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

Yep, it’s that Hanson; the MmmBop tykes. Only Zac, Ike and Taylor aren’t exactly tykes anymore.

So naturally, their third studio album Underneath finds the Oklahoma siblings trying to put away the bubbly Motown pop of their youth for more mature pursuits. Not that they’ve gone goth or anything; the power-pop guitar crunch, soulful-beyond-their-years vocals and shimmering harmonies that defined their signature sound are still in full effect. But on these 15 cuts — some co-written by the likes of Matthew Sweet — that sonic weaponry is deployed in the service of strummy heartland rockers, overly earnest groove-pop and soppy ballads reminiscent of singer-songwriters like John Mayer. Admittedly, nothing here will make you forget MmmBop. But if any of it helps you remember Hanson fondly, then Underneath has done its job.

 

Photos: Grammy Hall Of Fame

By | May 23, 2024

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Hanson Makes Rare Red Carpet Appearance, Recalls ‘Special’ First Time They Attended the Grammys (Exclusive)

By | May 23, 2024

People

The three brothers were among the night’s performers at the Inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Gala on May 21

Zac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Isaac Hanson of Hanson attend GRAMMY Museum's Inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala and Concert presented by City National Bank at The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live on May 21, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Zac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Isaac Hanson of Hanson in 2024. PHOTO: 

MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY

 

Hanson is stepping out!

The low-key band of brothers — consisting of Isaac, 43, Taylor, 41, and Zac, 38 — made a rare appearance at the Inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Gala, which took place at the Grammy Museum in L.A. on May 21.

The trio were some of the night’s performers, on deck to pay tribute to the Doobie Brothers, who were being inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame for their 1979 classic, “What a Fool Believes.”

“It’s an amazing honor to be a part of it,” Taylor told PEOPLE exclusively. “The Recording Academy has been honoring recordings for years and trying to put them into the history books as members of the Hall of Fame.”

Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson of Hanson perform onstage during GRAMMY Museum's Inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala and Concert presented by City National Bank at The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live on May 21, 2024
Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson of Hanson at the 2024 Grammy Hall of Fame Gala.REBECCA SAPP/GETTY

He continued, “So to be here at the inaugural gala, to celebrate this amazing collection of recordings, and frankly, to help induct something like The Doobie Brothers’ ‘What a Fool Believes’ is a big deal because it’s one of the great pop songs from a rock band that has been put out.”

While on the carpet, Hanson also took a walk down memory lane to the first time they attended the Grammys. The band remembered being over the moon as they had three nominations for their 1997 hit, “MMMBop.”

“[We remember] most everything,” Isaac stated, as all three chimed, “Soy Bomb,” referring to the incident in which performance artist Michael Portnoy surprised everyone by hopping on stage with the two gigantic words sprawled across his chest, all while Bob Dylan was performing “Love Sick.”

And that was only one highlight of the night, as the band revealed more memories: “I remember Aretha Franklin doing opera, stepping in for Pavarotti, which was absolutely amazing,” Isaac continued.

Pop trio Hanson arriving for the Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall.
Hanson arriving for the Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 1998.ANDREW SAVULICH/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE VIA GETTY

“It was an amazing experience. Here we are, just a bunch of songwriter kids playing in a band, trying to make it happen. Then it happens and here you are performing in front of, not only legends, but also some of your idols and stuff. It’s amazing.”

Hanson also noted that the 1998 show was one of the last ones held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, which made it that much more outstanding for them.

Added Zac, “It was special because it was really intimate and the people there were your peers. Mostly inductees, mostly people who were up for records, people who were a part of albums in the industry. So it’s a special thing to be seen by your peers and [have them say] ‘Hey, you’re worthy of recognition.’ “

Though Hanson prefers to keep a low profile these days, the band continues to sing together, tour the world and keep their fans updated via social media.

When they’re not performing, the three brothers are parenting their combined 15 kids. Isaac, who’s been married to his wife Nicole Dufresne since September 2006, has three children: sons Everett, 17, and Monroe, 16, and daughter Odette, 10.

Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson of Hanson attend GRAMMY Museum's Inaugural GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala and Concert presented by City National Bank at The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live on May 21, 2024
Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson of Hanson in 2024.MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY

Taylor and his wife of almost 22 years, Natalie, have seven kids: sons Ezra, 21, River, 17, Viggo, 15, and Indiana, 5, and daughters Penelope, 19, Wilhelmina, 11, and Maybellene, 3.

Zac and his wife Kate Tucker — whom he married in June 2006 — share five kids: sons Shepherd, 16, Abraham, 10, and Quincy, 3, and daughters Junia, 13, and Lucille, 6.

Asked whether they see any musical prowess in their children, Hanson revealed that while there is some musicality, venturing into the business is not a must for any of their kids.

“Music is so many other things. The DNA plays a huge part. We don’t all three sing together just because we all liked music. It’s part of that gift that comes with the natural ear and the environment you grow up in,” Zac explained.

“So yeah, there’s definitely music in the genes, in the kids. You see some in Taylor’s kids and Issac’s kids, particularly the older ones,” he added. “Our situation was, I think, accelerated by having three brothers in the same room liking the same music. So we’ll see what they do. It will never be pushed upon them, but always, there’s many instruments and studios that we can help them if they want that.”

 

Setlist: Hanson Day 2024

By | May 18, 2024