Wow. That about sums it up, right? :o) I just want to start off by saying how incredibly excited I am to actually have this album in my hands. . .for so long, it was just something I waited for. Now that I have it, I feel like the wait was worth it. The album, as a whole, is incredibly honest and powerful. The messages are complex, but they're expressed in a simple way, so that everyone can relate. I can't say the following about many CD's, but every single song on this one is something to look forward to. (Well, Middle of Nowhere was like that. :o) I guess I can break down my opinions on each song.
You Never Know - This song is a great choice to open the album. The whole 'whoa, whoa, whoa' in the beginning is awesome. . .kind of like the first few notes of Gimme Some Lovin' on Live From Albertane. The music is up and fun, but the words gave me a little to think about. All of the metaphors! :o) My favorite part would have to be "What is the source of all this pain that you've been dishing/Could they be lies that maybe you've been fed/Consider well the kind of stream where you've been fishing/I'm like a book that is waiting to be read". I love that last part (the book waiting to be read thing). It's like this guy wants this girl, but she keeps going to the wrong person for love, and he's telling her that she's got to realize why everything's so screwed up. It's because she's choosing the wrong kind of people (the kind of stream where you've been fishing) when she has this wonderful guy right in front of her (the book waiting to be read). Anyhow, great song. . .
If Only - My gosh, how much do I love this song? The harmonica really brightens it up. If only I was Taylor's harmonica. . .he he, sorry, that was cheesy. Anyway, the message in the song is pretty basic, but Hanson (as always) manages to say it in a way that I've never heard before. The lyrics make them seem so vunerable and real. . .my favorite lines are "I sit here/waiting, wondering, hoping, that I'll make this right/'Cause all I think about is your hands/Your face, and all these lonely nights". Whoa, lonely nights, eh? :o) I'm so glad that they're opening up and writing songs like this. . .it's how everyone feels now and then, right? You know, like all you can think about is this certain person, and you want to tell them about it so badly, but you just can't find the strength or whatever to let it out. I know I've felt that way.
This Time Around - I melt. I'm going to say that about a ton of songs, by the way. It's true, though. I'm not slighting Zac or Isaac, but Taylor's voice is just so soulful and mature. The piano in the beginning with the lyrics "I'm feeling older/And I'm wondering why" is so perfect. It just makes any bad feelings I have fade away so that I can drift into the music. I think that's what makes a good song. . .anyway, this song is so classic rock. Seriously, I hope people open their minds and give Hanson a chance, just for the sake of this song. This Time Around is too incredible for people to miss out on. I am in love with the "I've started feeling like I don't want to fight/Give in to the given and put out the light/Cannons a blazing shower these moonlit skies/Then I remember and I know why he died/Do you know why I'd die" part. None of my friends will admit that Hanson's lyrics are deep, but how can you deny that verse? It's about war and fighting for something that matters to you. . .but after awhile, you wonder why you're even trying anymore because you seem to get nowhere. But, if you think about everyone else who's dedicated themselves to a cause, you realize what's important. I think the 'he' in the above lyrics is Jesus, but that's just my personal interpretation.
Runaway Run - I melt. [again] It's the voice, I'm telling ya! I don't see how anyone can resist it. It just draws me in, and then I end up listening to the lyrics and realizing how powerful they are. I really like the whole 'running' theme in the song. ("the shoes you wore with long black satin lace as you walked into my mind," "and now I lay here, broken heart and blistered feet," etc.) This song is probably the catchiest on the whole album. . .the guitars rock. (Go Isaac! No Jonny Lang there, eh?) I could go on and on and on (and on) about how I adore this one, but I'll save you the time. :o)
Save Me - I melt. [more now than ever] I mean, I'm literally a puddle on the floor whenever I hear this song. I know I'm rambling on about Taylor's voice, but I have to talk about it here. I don't know where he pulled those Savage Gardenish vocals from, but I love 'em. His voice has finally matured, and he's hitting those high notes because he wants to, not because that's the only way he can sing. :o) Anyway, maybe I'm reading too much into an ordinary love song, but the lyrics here make me think about God. . .I guess that's just how it makes me feel. You can apply it to whomever, I spose. :o) I love the bridge. ("Suddenly the sky is falling/Could it be it's too late for me if I never said I'm sorry/Then I'm wrong, yes I'm wrong. . .") To me, that sounds like being forgiven of your sins before dying. . .
Dying to be Alive - I'm not really melting. . .I'm more or less jumping up and down like I'm in a gospel choir for this song. It's so positive. The message is great, whether you're a religious person or not. I love how it's about making the most of your life, and not just "following into the single file line" (that's something Zac said about it in the EPK, I think). Rose Stone's choir really adds a fullness to the song. Can you guess my favorite part? :o) Yeah, it's Taylor's little bit at the end. . .he sounds so innocent, whispering those words. It amazes me that these guys can deliver messages like this without feeling awkward. Most teenage guys have a lot of trouble expressing how they feel, but I'm glad Hanson gives their feelings on life and living in this song.
Can't Stop - This one rocks! :o) It's sorta funky, poppy, rocky. . .if you can imagine all three together. The guitars are great, the drums rock. . .and the 'tick tock' part in the middle is so original. I'm going to take back what I said about Runaway Run being the catchiest song. This one wins.
Wish That I Was There - Aaaah, the Zac solo. :o) Zac has a beautiful voice, and I'm glad it's showcased on this song. The lyrics are perfect for him. . .he's 14, and this is a simple song about missing someone. He sounds really genuine towards the very end, when it's just him singing.
Love Song - Aaaah, one of Isaac's solos. This is sort of the opposite to the other, Hand in Hand. This song is really pretty. . .it's romantic. I almost want to say, "Hey Ike, forget this Mary chick! I'm right here! Write me a song!" :o) The way he words things makes him seem like the perfect guy who meets the wrong girls. Poor Isaac.
Sure About It - People are confused about the lyrics, but they really speak to me. The anti-drug, anti-violence message is pretty clearly stated, but all of the wording makes people wonder. I really like the line "Sittin' on the corner of nowhere road/Just between I wish I could and I don't know". That makes so much sense to me. It's like you're going nowhere, and you're offered something that seems tempting. You're all confused, and you wish you could do whatever you're offered, but you have your doubts. The whole sound of the song is really sort of 70's protest music. :o)
Hand in Hand - Ike's other solo! This one is angry and bitter, and I like hearing it. Now Isaac's telling Mary (or whoever, he he) that he's not going to wait around for her to get over this guy she left him for. He's moving on. . .go Isaac. :o) This song sort of reminds me of Cried, with the whole angry side and the repetitive lines. (Say goodbye, already! :o) I really like how harsh this song is, though. It's nice to release your negativity in this way. . .
In the City - Aaaah, what an awesome song! This one's bitter, too, but Taylor's the lead now. This song just rocks. . .this is how music should be! When Taylor and Isaac are singing "Do you love me?," I want to scream out "Yes!" each time. I would love to see them perform this live.
A Song to Sing - Welp, this one probably makes me melt the most. It's just the piano and vocals with no production to distract from the meaning of the song. It sort of tells the story of Hanson's lives, I think. . .
Okay. . .another couple of things I liked. The verse on the inside, behind where the CD's at, was really cool. ("This Glassy Surface" - 'Don't wonder through this glassy surface/Expecting to find more than me/'Cause what am I without a purpose/But a lone mirage to see?') It seems like they're telling the fans not to look at them as larger than life superstars. They're just three people with a passion for making music, and without that drive, they'd be nothing. Also, I really like how they thank God. ("And finally, most of all, thanks to the Light Giver, who always casts out fear, and overcomes.") They manage to give gratitude to Him on each album in a creative way, and I respect that. It's really beautiful and touching to read those little lines. . .it makes me think. :o)
Basically, this CD has a little bit of everything that I like about Hanson. It shows their soft, romantic side, but you can also see that they've grown up and matured into really really talented musicians.