By Gary Graff
For Journal Register Newspapers
Notes from the music beat …
Hanson’s motto for its latest album was boys — or, should we say, men — just want to have fun. After writing about “heavy” topics on 2007’s “The Walk” and dealing with “challenging” recording sessions for that album and 2004’s “Underneath,” Isaac Hanson, the oldest of the three brothers, says that for the new “Shout It Out” the trio “wanted to make an upbeat record.”
“This is probably the most upbeat record we’ve done, period,” says Isaac, 29. “I think we’re saying that you can have a heart and compassion for others and do good things in your life, and at the same time dance in the street.”
The album, which debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard 200 chart in June, is also the most soulful and soul-influenced of the group’s eight studio releases. Bassist Bob Babbitt, one of Motown’s Funk Brothers, guests on the set, while seven of the songs feature horn charts by Jerry Hey of Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire fame.
“We grew up listening to a lot of that early R&B stuff, especially ’60s and ’70s R&B,” Isaac explains. “Otis (Redding) and countless others, and Motown … you forget how much horns played a part in a lot of really iconic kind of American R&B sound.
“And that also translated into more pop and singer-songwriter stuff we used to listen to, like Billy Joel’s ‘An Innocent Man,’ which is one of his biggest records, there’s horns all over the place on that record. That was the stuff we grew up listening to and … really worked its way onto this record.”
Hanson and Rooney perform Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32 in advance, $35 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.