Despite it being fourteen years ago since Hanson first hit the charts with ‘MMMbop’, they are still remembered by the majority of people as the people who sang said song. Forgetting the fact that it isn’t even a bad song, especially when they were aged between 10 and 14 when it was recorded, they are still seen as some sort of novelty act, especially in this country.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Since the release of ‘MMMbop’ back in 1997, the lads from Tulsa have started their own record label, made their own documentary, all turned into fathers and released four albums. But no, apparently they are still that joke act from the late nineties. It’s music snobbery at it’s finest.
There was a small resurgence from them back in 2004 with the song ‘Penny and Me’, but Underneath, the album of which that came from didn’t hit the charts and neither did the follow up to that, ‘The Walk’. Luckily, chart positions don’t show the signs of the matured sound that has followed them throughout the years with new album ‘Shout It Out’ being the latest offering by the trio.
Opening track ‘Waiting For This’ kicks it off in a brilliant way. From the first chords of the piano, you know you’re in for a treat. The lyrics aren’t the best of the album but the soulful voice and the fantastic music shows that this band are onto a winner.
Going through the album and you realise one thing, that these lads are king of the ballads. The lyrics get better throughout the album, the piano playing is perfect all the way through and the lead vocals are some of the finest I’ve heard for a very long time. The amount of passion and belief you hear is truly fantastic, even when singing duty is handed over to the drummer, Zac.
The sound of the band is a bit of everything. A mixture of genres from rock, pop, rhythm and blues to indie makes it a real mix and is something which helps the album. Songs which wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1970’s blend in with some truly original songs which will have you, at the very least, tapping your feet like there’s no tomorrow.
Highlights of the album are ‘Give A Little’, ‘And I Waited’ and ‘Thinking ‘Bout Something’, but it’s easy to say that pretty much every song on the record is a killer. However, special mention goes to ‘Me, Myself and I’, the final track. A beautiful ballad about a break up, with nothing but vocals and piano. Class.
Their musical career is like wine, improving with age. The earlier stuff is something you would go to if a little bit drunk but the older version is something that you would go to after a hard day in the office. No doubt about it, this album is truly fantastic and if it’s not in my top 10 of 2011 list, then I will be highly surprised. Highly recommended.