Review Summary: An appropriate title for such a colourless listening experience.
The Maine’s previous album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop was a guilty pleasure of mine. It consisted of every pop-punk cliché’ in the book yet still retained plenty of enjoyable moments. More or less every song was about relationships, which says volumes for the intended audience but I was simply overwhelmed by the catchiness of it all and disregarded the repetitive lyrics and simply took the album for what it was: Fun and catchy. The Maine had a good formula for song writing but what has changed to make Black and White such a dull experience?
Black and White offers nothing new. No maturing of vocals, no new content of lyrics and no improvements instrumentally. Everything that worked for them in the past has been stripped away. Gone are the electronic sections, gang chants and lively choruses. Instead we’re left with a dull grind start to finish, full of hooks that fall flat and lyrics that we all heard on their last album.
The single exception on this album is ‘Inside of You’. This somewhat infectious song injects the album with a well-needed dose of ‘excitement’ and even contains evidence of vocal improvement. The sad thing is that it’s the only song I can remember and even saying that, there’s no desire to go back and re-listen.
The greatest letdown of the album is how each song starts in the same manner: Each track, without fail begins with a forgettable riff that’s practically indistinguishable from the last. The same goes for the drumming: Beats sound recycled with perhaps the occasional variation on timing patterns. I simply can’t get over just how lazy the album sounds, which is such a contrast from their previous work that captured a real sense of energy and variety.
Overall the album is a disappointing mess. The whole listening experience offers nothing new: No memorable moments, no evidence of progression, nothing. I honestly don’t know why I expected so much from Black and White, yet it lives up to its aptly given title in being dull and colourless.