Hanson The Walk [3CG Records]

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About once every two or three years a record comes along that is so captivating, it ends up in residence in your cd player for about one month straight. Finally, after myriad bland new releases this year, many of them tepid and uninspiring, we have been offered up some form of musical redemption, and the saviors responsible for our salvation are three chaps from Oklahoma, brothers in fact, who are simply known by their last name, Hanson. Their new recording is called The Walk, and all I can say is that you better walk, but don’t saunter, and certainly do not run, on over to your local record store to pick up this masterpiece. I have also heard that Walmart has it in stock for those of you who reside in the Midwest.

This record is slick. Period. For their fourth full-length album of highly original material, they have enlisted Danny Kortchmar to produce what was already a fine set of songs. The main instruments on the record are keyboard, guitar and drums. The boys have stuck to their guns here and have not gone off on some self indulgent, experimental wandering into new musical realms. The sound is basic pop, but sometimes it carries with it a certain amount of indie edge. Almost every song on the record could be the single, so keep your ears open for which one makes it onto the radio. The songs are hopeful, more so than about anything you’ve heard on the radio in recent times. “I find hope,” one of them soulfully sings in the track, “Great Divide,” and the listener knows that he feels it. The heavily treated vocals soar above the underlying music like a male Shakira or a female Bruce Springsteen.

The focus of this album, as with most Billboard top tens, is on the chorus of the song. In many of these tracks, the listener is on the edge of their seat, imagining what it must be like to sing along with the massive crowd at one of their charity concerts. The songs have a truly spiritual quality to them. Actually, the album has an uncanny christian rock feel to it without being overtly religious. The glossy production has that genre’s definitive, digital sound and, if that’s not enough, its anthemic “good things rule” choruses force you to put down your woes and belt out just about every tune on the record with the now adult Hanson. You will want to stamp along, clap along and shriek along to these timeless melodies.

This is a feel good record. They may even give New York’s Locksley a run for their money. The boys have grown up to become much more than just a novelty pop group from Tulsa. In the song, “Georgia,” singer Hanson almost screams out the chorus, “Cause I don’t want to let you go.” That is exactly how I feel when this cd is in my car stereo. In addition, there are also some wonderful ballads here. “Watch Over Me,” is one of those rare songs, not too unlike “Stay” by Lisa Loeb, that will actually bring tears to your eyes. “And she says please (x3) WATCH over meÖon her knees and she begs and she pleads. Na na na na na na na na na na.” I don’t think that it gets any better than this. The Walk is certain to be in heavy rotation at your local Starbucks this summer. I bet that at least one of its many brilliant tracks makes it onto one of their sampler cds as well. “Go” is another highlight. I can hardly find adequate words to describe the rare beauty that emanates from this song. Just buy this album, or at least download the track from itunes and your life may very well never be the same again.

In this age where the planet is plagued by war, hunger, poverty and reality television, there is a shining light and the source of that light is Hanson. This new album is arguably their best. I think that it even tops their xmas album, Snowed In, from 1997. There is so much optimism in The Walk that you’ll wonder why anyone ever bought or had any interest an album like “Tonight’s the Night.” Actually, if anyone out there can get Neil Young a copy of this recording, I am sure that he will cease to make records whose negative themes are always about impeaching the president, criticizing the government and eating at Great Harvest Bread Company. What this country needs in the year 2007 is a little joy, pure and unadulterated. Optimism is the new apathy.

Rating: 0.5

This album will not be released until May 22, but since we too believe in the power of charity, usounds is willing to send you our advance copy version of The Walk in order to share our love of this incredible release. Email: usounds AT gmail DOT com with your name and address and the first lucky respondent will receive this soon to be critically acclaimed work of genius.

-Andrew Boe

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46 Replies to “Hanson The Walk [3CG Records]”

  1. Got to be the worst review I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a few. My favorite quote is:
    There is so much optimism in The Walk that youíll wonder why anyone ever bought or had any interest an album like ďTonightís the Night.Ē
    Come again?
    Sample lyrics from this album include:

    “One more for the night and one more for the pain and one more long goodbye and one shot to the brain and one more takes the knife and one more takes the train….”

    This to you reeks of excessive optimism??

    I would love your advance copy, but there’s no way I would consider sending you my home address. You seem creepy.

  2. I can’t help but feel sorry for the two previous commenters…the review written about Hanson was cleary a farce….didn’t you catch the 0.5 rating given at the end? The writer decided to take on a sarcastic tone when discussing material he obviously found to be trash, and if you couldn’t tell it from the writing (“you better walk, but donít saunter, and certainly do not run, on over to your local record store to pick up this masterpiece”, or “if anyone out there can get Neil Young a copy of this recording, I am sure that he will cease to make records whose negative themes are always about impeaching the president.”), then you CERTAINLY could have picked up on the joke when he gives it a 0.5 at the end.
    I applaud you two, however, for concentrating hard enough to find this site, read the article AND hit the ‘post a comment’ button. Boy I bet you were exhausted though…
    And if you like this album, then I am so sad for a society that can churn out this sort of behavior. I know it’s not your fault!

  3. Of course I could tell he was being sarcastic. The review is about as subtle as a sledgehammer, although said sledgehammer would probably have written a more intelligent thoughtful review. This reads like one of those “I Hate Hanson” sites that were so popular amongst 14 year old boys in the late 1990s.

  4. and orangejuliusfrappo — did you even read my comment? If you did, I can’t imagine you could have thought I didn’t understand the “point” the reviewer was trying to make. I even mentioned the very example you later pointed out. Only in my case, I was contrasting it to the reality of the lyrics of the album. I’m sorry if that went over your head.

    Some of us got over the “I Hate Hanson” thing in middle school. Others of us didn’t, and probably never will.

  5. Wow that review was just so insightful and uplifting and entertaining…NOT! I agree with you Maria. This reviewer needs to get his head out of 1997… and other places! I’ve listened to the Japanese version of the walk and it is anything but fluff … unlike the previously mentioned reviewer.

  6. My girlfriend got this album from Japan, and she plays it all the time. I’m a musician and I have to say, it’s actually pretty good. I kind of feel bad for these guys for being stuck with their image. If it was anyone else they’d probably be taken seriously.

  7. uh oh dude, the fans are coming out! Seriously though, after the shit that’s been forced on us by the music industry over the last ten or so years, Hanson isn’t that bad. I’ll save the hatey for the real atrocities like Sanjaya.

  8. Thanks orangejuicefrappucino (fantastic name by the way), you seem to have elevated yourself, tastes and knowledge of the vast world of music far above the heads of Maria and I. Hopefully in the future, through additional comments on your part, we may learn from your astute perceptibility of a writer’s true intent in his/her work.

    Go Hanson.

  9. Wow! Only with a Hanson album can you generate this kind of fire filled debate. If not that, than at least one thing was accomplished–I’m dying to hear the album. Anything this disbuted by blog frogs such as yourselves, must be contraversial. Then again, with out having heard a second of the album I believe I can comfortably say that I wouldn’t use a Hanson album to fan the dust off of my Jackson 5 cassettes.

    xoxoxoxo.

  10. I love Hanson, I haven’t heard this record but a 0.5 is too harsh! These guys have great tunes, something sorely lacking in today’s musical landscape.

  11. Ted, you think 0.5 is too low of a rating, but you haven’t heard the album. Awesome!

    Kelly, you used the ol’ “NOT” trick to show how sarcastic you could be.

    Dave, you work for Hanson.

    Shrie, um, nevermind.

    Ruckyo, you seem cool…you used the word “hatey”.

    Everybody ask yourself: is Hanson really worth it? Look in the mirror tonight before you go to bed and ask yourself this. (Hint: The answer is “Mmmm Bop”)

  12. Is Hanson really worth it? Instead of looking in a mirror to try to answer that question, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to look at Hanson? I’d start by looking at their documentary, “Strong Enough to Break”, which shows how they left their major label deal in order to start their own indie label from the ground up. They did that to gain creative control over their own music. Hanson toured the US with it a few years ago, playing it at various colleges, including my alma mater. You can now see it on iTunes as a series of podcasts, for free.

  13. You’ve got that right Dave! I was thinking that myself. Orangejulius you’re just a little to defensive about this whole review. I agree with Dave that you are most likely the one and only Andrew Boe! You are taking this whole thing way too personally not to be. I guess you were waiting for everyone to praise you for your cutting humor. Like I said..NOT!

  14. Wow, what a mature review. At first, I was appalled that a professional critic would write such an infantile piece… but then I looked around the site a bit and realized that it’s NOT written by a professional. Hell, *I* could join this site and write sarcastic rants against bands I hate.

  15. Also, Andrew Orangejulius, I find it funny that you referred back to “MMMBop” in your most recent post. News flash: “MMMBop” isn’t on this album. Would you slag off later Beatles albums because of “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me”, both of which were arguably worse songs, musically AND lyrically, than “MMMBop”? Plus: the Beatles wrote those songs as adults. Hanson were just kids when they wrote “MMMBop”. Also, that song was #1 in 27 different countries as well as being critically acclaimed. It was the #1 song on the largest and most prestigious Critics Poll, the Village Voice Pazz and Jop, in 1997. Yes, real critics, who are actually paid for their reviews, voted “MMMBop” to be the best single of 1997. The song was also Grammy-nominated. Tell me, Andrew, what mountains were YOU moving back when you were in grade school, that gives you leave to slag off Hanson’s accomplishment?

  16. Oh wow Maria! Very nice! Give it up Andrew (Orangejulius) you can’t win against people who are actually thinking before they hit the submit comment button!

  17. Just one more thing, and then I’ll leave you in peace for a little bit. Someone expressed curiosity about hearing the album. If you go here: http://www.aolmusicnewsblog.com/2006/11/28/hanson-cross-the-great-divide-for-aids-awareness/2 you can hear the first song on the album, “Great Divide”, which is a very beautiful, powerful song. And if you go to iTunes and buy the single of “Great Divide”, the 99 cents you spend on it goes entirely to the PRHU, a hospital that helps reduce pre-natal AIDS in Soweto, S.A. Sorry if that’s too “optimistic” for our friend Andrew, but perhaps some other people here feel differently about helping to reduce pre-natal AIDS.

  18. Haha Andrew/OrangeJuliusFrappucino is getting pwned by the Hanson Mafia, I love it. I think MMMBop is a freakin amazing song (it will be played for the next 50 years, that’s a feat in and of itself), but as someone else said, that’s not the point.

    I listened to the “Great Divide” and seriously it is pretty good. No, it’s not ground breaking but it’s very good music. As I said before I even listened to the album 0.5 is WAY to harsh, this is good music!

  19. Just for the record, Andrew Boe has never posted a usounds comment in his entire life.

  20. Just for the record Ella,you probably could join this site and post rants. But you haven’t. So..?

  21. I’m waiting for the Hanson backlash Backlash, and then posting my photoshop of all three members in full Nazi regalia.

  22. Well, I guess we can all rest a good deal easier, knowing that usounds watches Andrew Boe’s message board posting to the extent that they feel comfortable making declarative statements about whether or not he has ever posted here in his life. I know that one certainly made me feel a good deal more confident. :-0

  23. Ella: you’re right… the people who write reviews on this site aren’t professional music reviewers. they do it because they LOVE it. and while you, or I, may not like what they have to say about certain albums or artists it is downright awesome that anybody does something for free, in their spare time when they have a million other things to do, just because they love it. so go ahead, “join” up with usounds and pelt us with your infantile, bashing reviews. i’m sure they are much better than any writer’s on this site.

    I’m sure this new Hanson album sucks. I don’t like the band at all. But I sure as hell am enjoying the fodder that follows…. go Andrew! (even though your reviews are usually totally off the mark and self-righteous – you can’t win ’em all)

  24. Hey Shrie — you’re sure the new Hanson album sucks? Have you heard it? For that matter, have you heard any of their music of the past ten years? If you do want to hear the album first before talking about it (which is usually better and inspires more respect than talking about it without hearing it) it’s available on the band’s site, http://www.hanson.net . Just click on “Launch Media Player” or some such thing, up near the top of the page.

  25. Maria, people have different tastes, get over it. Nothing is for everyone, even… Hanson!

    That said, I think Hanson is cool. But I know that not everyone else does. So what?

  26. I realize that, Ted. Did I say she had to like it? It’s just that she made it clear that she hadn’t heard the album, and yet she’s “sure” it sucks. I invited her to listen to it, for free. If she still thinks it sucks after listening to it, more power to her.

  27. Thanks, Maria. I hadn’t already seen your 15 previous posts encouraging people to listen to it.

    Its great that you like it… I’m not dogging them or your taste in them. But I’m just not into that kind of stuff. I’m not going to listen to it, and frankly I don’t care if its good. So enjoy the album. Listen til your heart’s content, but I’m going to refrain. Sorry if that offends you.

    I’m on your side here…. Don’t be so quick to throw daggers.

  28. Hanson sucks without having to listen to them. Isn’t that obvious? This world is a scary place, but I find a sort of tingling comfort in the fact that Hanson sucks huge balls, permanently.
    PS It’s okay to like something awful…most people do. Have fun with that!

  29. I wish I could post a Jane Birkin nude pic here. I think that would solve everything. Maybe try to just imagine it?

  30. Usually, I have to go to a demolition derby or a tractor pull in order to experience an exchange of ideas quite like the last two posts.

  31. dude, you seriously need a reality check. i love The Walk, it’s better than anything they’ve put out so far.

  32. There has been thirty five posts on this and no one has asked the important question. Can one still masturbate to Hanson if they come across them on TV and there is little else to masturbate to. You know, if you have never heard of them before and you think they are chicks. That’s how I was introduced to them and want my kids to experience them now that they are over.

    P.S. As hilarious as it would be for my future kids to jerk-off to Hanson, thinking they are hot young ladies, I know this cannot be. There is too much pornography on the internet and so unlike all of us from the old days, the won’t desperately scour sluts on the “The Grind” or trashy defendants on “The People’s Court” for hard-on material.

    Also, I cannot have kids.

  33. Chad, If you see them now, I doubt you’ll think they’re chicks. Unless the chicks you favor have facial hair.

  34. My grandma has facial hair and I think she is a fine woman. When I brought her upstairs to read your message Maria, and told her that you were inferring that women with facial hair are not attractive to most men, you could tell by her expression that she was very hurt. Hopefully I can get her on “Tyra” for a makeover before her crippling depression comes back. It would be terrible if Tyra grabs her boobs to see if they are real however, as they are very fake. Grandma needed breast implants because one time I wrote about Hanson on another site, saying they look like hot chicks and all that, and Maria replies: “Unless the chicks you favor have flat chests.” I brought grandma up to look at that and she sighed and felt her tiny breasts. She knew it was time to go through with the surgery, with all these Hanson fans hating on her so much. Because we don’t have much, she had to get an unlicensed surgeon (i.e. me) to give the implants. She almost died.

    So, next time you’re replying on music sites, keep in mind that your words can hurt.

  35. Oh yes, I feel really sad for your grannie.

    On the plus side, though, I think her story is good enough to sell to the Weekly World News. And then she’ll have enough money to have as much cosmetic surgery as her little heart desires. She’ll be looking like a teenager in no time.

  36. Quote: They may even give New Yorkís Locksley a run for their money.

    Just thought I’d mention that the aforementioned Locksley has signed on to open for Hanson on their upcoming tour. Oh, the irony.

  37. amazing album.

    it really is sad, though, how many people have yet to move on from 1997… ten years, people. it’s not “mmmbop” anymore.

  38. The fact Hanson can generate so much hatred in people is amazing.

    The fact that Hanson can even have the people who don’t like them waste 5 minutes of their life to read this crap and then spend another 5 minutes to think up a snazzy way of saying ‘Hanson sucks’ then post is proof that Hanson is still popular and talked about.

    By doing your hate rants you strike curiosity in people and they in turn go to the source of the conflict and could possibly turn into a fan themselves if they approve of what they hear.

    Keep on talking smack people, Hanson will thank you for the new batch of fans that you most likely are generating for them.

    Ngi Ne Themba, assholes.

  39. you sir, Mr. Andrew Boe are a jackass. and Hitler, you’re completely right. “Ngi Ne Themba.” how could anyone say that is shit? How can you be sarcastic about 3 young men who are putting so much effort into saving a life? fuck you Mr. Ander Boe. A big middle finger in the air from people who care. and, people with good music tastes. the walk is a work of art, read the lyrics to the songs. lick it up buddy. you suck.

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