The Maine
The Maine


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Robinson USER (70 Reviews)
August 3rd, 2023 | 21 replies


Release Date: 08/01/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Maine tries some new stuff and it works.

Growing beyond their post-emo pop punk roots by the mid 2010s, The Maine peaked on their 2017 release Lovely Little Lonely, absorbing the spirit of late-90s radio rock in the vein of Third Eye Blind and Goo Goo Dolls to spectacular effect. You Are OK was a disappointing followup, while XOXO was somewhere between the two with a handful of solid songs. To this listener, The Maine’s biggest misstep was appealing to mainstream pop sensibilities; they hadn’t exactly sold out, but it *felt* like it.

With their new, self-titled album, would The Maine keep trending in that direction? Do something different? Yes on both accounts. Sort of. Doubling down on big hooks, this self-titled album sounds like The Maine growing beyond Top 40 aspirations in favor of arena rock, with huge, grandiose songs, a theme introduced in “how to exit a room,” which hearkens back to memorable moments of Lovely Little Lonely as much as it evokes a modern take on Journey or whathaveyou.

This arena rock pivot is exemplified by standout “thoughts I have while lying in bed,” and the generally-excellent second half, which thankfully exorcizes the trash-pop synthesized strings of You Are OK in favor of light touches of 80s synth and prominent guitar in a mix that’s right on point. It’s a surprising success at the sort of thing a band like Kings Of Leon tried to do on Only By The Night; and surprisingly smart at times, with “cars & caution signs” wrapping a krautrock beat into The Maine’s sound the same way that Lovely Little Lonely standout “Black Butterflies and Deja Vu” did with drum and bass. It’s an unexpected treat, and one of the album’s best tracks.

Even when The Maine plays to their poppier side, as on “blame,” it generally works better than where they’ve done similar things on the last two albums. The band has always written solid hooks, but there’s enough variety to keep it from feeling too much like a generic pop song despite the overly-slick production. Elsewhere, “leave in five” sounds like The Maine trying to write a Bruno Mars song, which sounds silly when you write it out but actually adds some nice variety to the album.

Released on 8/1/23 - neatly corresponding to the band’s 8123 label, and obviously a self-titled album, The Maine really needed to make a positive statement, to wrap everything the band does well into a cohesive album, and while not perfect, this record is a competent effort that feels like the most proper follow-up the group has yet presented to their 2017 peak. And although there are certainly moments reminiscent of their previous efforts, they spend enough time trying to do something new (for them) that it pushes the band forward rather than merely rehashing past success. For a group that’s been doing this as long as The Maine, that’s certainly worth commending.



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user ratings (30)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
instantradical
August 3rd 2023


351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, been a while since I posted a review. Here ya go.



The Maine is my wife's favorite band and while I loved LLL, the last two albums (especially the singles) really let me down. This is a nice return to form, and a pleasant surprise.

Nbehre11
August 3rd 2023


292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Enjoyed reading this - nice write up

Feather
August 3rd 2023


10146 Comments


Excited to check this out. LLL was the last album I really enjoyed from them.

Nbehre11
August 3rd 2023


292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Same Feather - it doesn’t reach those heights, but it’s an enjoyable listen. After the recency effect cools off for me, I see it sitting at a 3.6-7 but I can’t rate in between so we’ll stick with a 4 haha.

ConcubinaryCode
August 4th 2023


7581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually found it an uplifting listen. I haven't jammed them in like a decade so it was a nice surprise hearing them find their sound. They're really good at it.

Feather
August 4th 2023


10146 Comments


Woah, listened twice through on the plane and I really enjoyed it. Didn’t look at any track names or anything but found it a pleasant listen Al the way through. Easy 3.5 and maybe 4 as a hype rating

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2023


5475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

so happy they're back to being a lil bit gooderer again!

sweet rev too, one note is that lll is from 2017, not 16 :]

Feather
August 4th 2023


10146 Comments


Oh, I am seeing a trend. I like their albums with black covers

Hawks
August 4th 2023


87968 Comments


The Menaine - The Menaine

Feather
August 4th 2023


10146 Comments


I heard somewhere that posts like that are banned Hawks

Hawks
August 4th 2023


87968 Comments


I don't recall.

Cormano
August 4th 2023


4120 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

after 2 massive letdowns i really hope this is redeeming

Feather
August 4th 2023


10146 Comments


^ I think this might make you happy luck dragon. I found this delightful after slogging through their last couple.

instantradical
August 4th 2023


351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good catch JesperL - fixed!

Feather
August 4th 2023


10146 Comments


The Mood I'm In / JSYK is probably my early favorite off of this. The pop hooks on this album are incredible. This might be my favorite The Maine album. will have to revisit Forever Halloween and LLL though to verify.

TheMonster
August 5th 2023


240 Comments


I still say Forever Halloween was one of the most underrated records of the 2010s

Feather
August 5th 2023


10146 Comments


It’s a great album and the title track is stellar

lucazade22
August 6th 2023


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this on first listen, especially the middle of the tracklist

lucazade22
December 9th 2023


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needs more love. Such a good pop album front to back

lucazade22
December 9th 2023


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needs more love. Such a good pop album front to back



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