I was quite late in discovering The Maine so this was the first of their albums that I encountered.
More specifically, the first song I ever heard by The Maine was 'Every Road'. I was listening to this the other day and got inspired to write this post.
Released in 2010, 'Black & White' is a pop rock, feel good record packed with catchy hooks and guitar riffs that leave you with no choice but to dance around, not to mention the beautifully crafted lyrics and infectious choruses.
The album opens with a striking electric guitar, followed by a tambourine-esque shimmering sound and a steady drum beat punctuated with the odd cymbal crash. This, I would say, is quite typical of the album's instrumentation make up.
It was hard to pick out my favourite songs to sum up the album but I managed to narrow it down to three; 'Book Of Me And You', 'Every Road' and 'Listen To Your Heart' all of which mean something different to me.
That's what I love about The Maine - their songs have a narrative or message but can also be interpreted to fit your personal situation.
We'll start with 'Book Of Me And You'.
The song is introduced with long electric guitar notes and drums but quickly settles down to focus on John's raw vocal, accompanied by some backing vocals to emphasise key phrases.
I personally really like the vocal on this album. I can't really place why, I just think it sounds inviting and real.
During the verses of 'Book Of Me And You' the vibe is pretty laid back. This builds slowly into more guitar driven choruses with added guitar melodies in the following verses.
However, the track ends really nicely with simple electric guitar strumming (that's probably not the right term - I apologise to guitarists reading this) that's left to drift.
Lyrically, the song (in my opinion) is about a relationship being tested.
'I turn the page, thinking I can turn this around'.
''Every wall that's up must come down'.
'I keep thinking, time will make us strong enough'.
'Find another window, with a different point of view'.
'This is just another chapter, in the book of me and you'.
These are just some of the lyrics pulled from various verses and the chorus that illustrate the relationship.
Moving on, 'Every Road' had to be mentioned as it was the song that brought me to The Maine.
This is arguably one of the most pop punk songs on the album.
It starts much like the other tracks with a drum beat and smooth guitar.
I think what attracted me to this song is the chorus - it's just so catchy.
Catchy is an overused word (especially on this blog!) but it truly is - give it a listen and you'll understand.
In addition, this was the first time I had heard The Maine's storytelling capabilities that weave into every song on the album.
There's also a killer guitar solo in the middle of 'Every Road' (perfect for a bit of air guitar if you ask me).
Finally, 'Listen To Your Heart'.
'Listen To Your Heart' is initiated with a pulsing drum pattern that plays in time with a pulse like guitar, creating a sense of urgency.
'We're too young, this is never gonna work. That's what they say - you're gonna get hurt' is the opening lyric of the song.
This track is another great example of the storytelling I was talking about.
'Don't listen to the voices in your head, listen to your heart'.
This is the main point of the song.
My interpretation is that the lyrics are about a young couple who's friends and family are disapproving of the relationship.
'Your mother, she thinks that this is just a phase - I think that we should run away'.
'Listen To Your Heart' is an anthem for a forbidden love story.
Overall, 'Black & White' is a really great album that I encourage you to have a listen to. Since, The Maine have released another album entitled 'American Candy' which is equally as good, if not better.
I also feel that The Maine would be a fantastic band to see live and can't wait to hear more from them.
Until next time...