Review Summary: It is really hard to explain what it is about this album that makes me love it to death.
Calling it cheesy would be an understatement. Calling it generic would be praising it. Calling it repetitive would be an insult to repetitiveness. Welcome to "Extreme Behavior".
This a debut album from Oklahoma's Children, Hinder. Everything I just mentioned applies to this very record. So why the hell am I giving it an insane 5"
Well, first of all, I was a teenager when I first heard of Hinder, and I was also kind of late to the party, as Austin Winkler, their lead singer, already left the band. I heard this song "Shoulda", and I gotta say, I kinda loved it. It is the loudest song on the record and "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda" chorus is instantly memorable. So i decided to give full CD a shot.
I kinda had some love problems back in the day, so hearing this record in its intirety was something amazing. I'm pretty biased here, but it spoke to me in every single way. I am a sucker for party songs as well so it was really a perfect combination.
Even without all that now, I love this album. I loved "Get Stoned" from the first note, and it is such fun and catchy song with so many memorable lyrics ("We can end up making love instead of misery", "Sex is so much better when you're mad at me) that, for a rock fan, might sound ridiculous, but I replayed it about three thousand times. Lead guitar adds quite a bit and progression is one of the catchiest in their catalog.
There is consistent theme throughout the album. Every, and I mean every song is about a woman (or women). More often than not, the situation in question is a breakup, a bad one at that. For a casual listener, it can get tiring as the record goes on, but for a teenager, every song has relatability factor to it. "How Long" is a hard rocking single that has one of the best intros that I've ever heard. It's fast, it's catchy and it follows a standard progression that I do not have problem with. The song itself is middle-tempo for the most part, as well as the rest of the record.
There is a song for every type of breakup. I'm not saying Hinder is absolutely stunning at playing their instrumets, nor are Austin's lyrics amazing, but there is a sense of real emotion in every song, since Austin and Cody Hanson wrote about their personal experiences. "By The Way" is an acoustic jam that talks about couple having a fight on the egde of breakup. The progression is nice, the melody is good, and while it is kind of generic (I mean, majority of record kind of is,but I have no problem with so called generic music), it is well-crafted and an ear worm, as well as the next 2 tracks, "Nothin' Good About Goodbye" and "Bliss (I Don't Wanna Know)". The sound is consisten, kind of samey, but for my ears, it works greatly. Both choruses are catchy asf, the chords are strummed in such good way that I really love. Also, the solo on the latter is pretty cool, too.
Yeah, there are some cringe-inducing moments, like dirty "Room 21", or the overplayed hit " Lips of an Angel", which still I think is a good song. Acoustic guitar work as good as on the rest of the record, hair metal solos are memorable, and the subject matter is an uncommon love subject, it is about Austin planning to cheat on his girl.
The most emotional moment on here is the last single, "Better Than Me", that is stripped down for the most part, and it explodes in the end with chanting " You deserve much better than me" lyric, and it is really powerful, especially if you find yourself in that position, it kinda brings tear to your eye.
The only track on here that deals with some other struggles is "Homecoming Queen", which tells a story about a girl who had so much potential to achieve a great life, but ultimately wasted it all. The riff is similar to "Sweet Child O'Mine" as well as the progression, but it still feels original and engaging. Well, not the most original song out there by a long shot, but it is really pleasing to listen to.
It is really hard to explain what it is about this album that makes me love it to death. It got me through some of the worst parts of life, it was part of my everyday routine, it just felt right to listen to at really any moment. If you don not like this type of style, you can at least get stoned (no pun intended) or boozed up and I guarantee you'll have a good time. And I sure have it every time I listen to it. It is simple music with simple relatable lyrics, but it has a real heart and emotion to it, and I'm biased in places, but this is my favorite record of all time.