Hanson, Against the World (3CG Records)
The guys at Hanson will turn 30 as a band next year, and if that makes you feel old, it’s not their fault. They even released an album to make you feel young again.
Seven-track “Against the World” is a rich and varied group of songs that showcase the range, musicality and influence of the brothers – those that leave their monstrous sugar pop hit “MMMBop” far in the rearview mirror.
The album begins with “Annalie”, which features vibrant harmonies and guitar work reminiscent of Paul Simon. “Don’t Ever Change” sounds amazing, probably because Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen plays guitar.
Rock-pop “Only Love” has vocals similar to Eddie Vedder that transforms from a dark empty space into an arena for singing. The Hansons’ harmony is great in ‘Stronger’, which is like Queen, ‘One’ is a beautiful call for unity, and ‘Fearless’ anthem rests on the orchestra while the brothers hover over the strings.
But the main thing is Isaac, Taylor and Zach Hanson in the title track. “We belong to the restless / Keeping the company of rebels and dreamers,” they sing. “The scars of victory and defeat are equal.” If they are against the world, we are on their side.
Mark Kennedy is in http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits