ALBUM REVIEW: Hanson’s ‘Shout It Out’ stays true to Hanson spirit while offering unique sound

By | September 19, 2012

Central Michigan Life 

In 1997, a song was released that would change the world.

It may have been a little bit incomprehensible. The gender of the singers may have been difficult to guess. But whenever it came on, listeners could not help but smile, dance and mumble along.

That song was “Mmmbop.”

Performed by three young brothers from Tulsa, Okla., “Mmmbop” was the debut single off Hanson’s third album, “Middle of Nowhere.”

The album offers listeners a mixture of peppy nonsense songs like “Mmmbop” and “Man from Milwaukee,” dramatic ballads like “Yearbook” and “Weird” and songs named after random girls like “Madeline” and “Lucy.”

The three brothers, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, sound moderately feminine in the album, but this does not take away from the fun spirit of the album. After all, the brothers wrote all of the songs on the album (albeit some of them with extra help), which released when they were 17, 15 and 12, respectively.

And really, someone try to argue Justin Bieber didn’t sound feminine on his first albums. I dare you.

And sure, the songs are a little whiney and seem to be made only of vowels, but it did, after all, come out in the 90s.

A great part of band members who are also brothers is the longevity of the project.

As Zac Hanson once said in an interview, “How can we break up? We’re brothers!”

This is good news for fans, because Hanson still produces music despite all three members being married with kids. (How’s that for making you feel old?)

The trio co-founded a production company, 3CG Records, under which the newest Hanson album was released June 8, 2010.

“Shout It Out”, the band’s eighth album, still has the fun pop feel of the band’s older albums, but offers a more mature, fuller sound featuring more piano and jazz instruments.

In addition, the songs are much easier to understand.

The best part of the album is the reassurance that Isaac, Taylor and Zac haven’t run out of material despite making music together for more than 20 years. Some bands seem to release the same album every four years. “Shout It Out,” on the other hand, still sounds like Hanson while having its own distinct sound. This is rare for a band with such a long lifespan.

In addition, the brothers’ love of the music they create always shows through. This helps the listeners enjoy the music just as much, and hopefully ensures several more albums from the band of brothers.

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