Article: Hanson stays true to itself, and its music

By | September 19, 2008

Isaac Hanson and his younger brothers, Taylor and Zac, are men unstuck in time. It doesn’t mean that they choose to live in their ’90s pop-idol past, but their reference points are from another era. And it all comes down to the Time-Life Music collection of classic rock ‘n’ roll that the boys constantly played before they formed Hanson and tipped over the pop world with “MMMBop.”

Over a decade after the Jackson 5-like “MMMBop” and “Where’s the Love” bounced through preteens’ personal soundtracks, those classic R&B artists, doo-wop vocal groups and rock ‘n’ roll pioneers remain imprinted in Hanson’s DNA. In 2008, it’s as if these men in their 20s started out in 1956 and lived every musical transformation that followed in the next 15 years: Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, girl groups, The Beatles and the singer-songwriter boom that was launched by James Taylor and Elton John.

“I joke that we’re not dissimilar to a rock band in the ’70s,” said Isaac Hanson, who will perform with his brothers at 7:30 tonight on the Toyota Stage at the Oklahoma State Fair.

“I kind of feel like every single time we sit down and play with one another, we rediscover how elemental it (the Time-Life collection) was, and how elemental it still is. You can’t get away from the fact that what we were listening to was two minutes of straight-to-the-hook rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “It was the birth of modern music in many ways. It helped us hone what we thought was a good song and helped us understand what song structure was all about at an early part of our lives.”

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