Classic Album Review: Hanson | Underneath

By | May 28, 2024


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.


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