Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

Four short years ago, alternative pop-rock band “The Maine” was formed in Tempe, Arizona, by just a bunch of high school kids. Now, two records later, they’ve achieved what most garage band acts can only dream of; they’ve gone on world tours and have been featured in Cliché magazine and mentioned in Vanity Fair. With the release of their newest studio album, “Black & White”, their success only seems to continue to rise.

As compared to their “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” up-tempo, pop-rock sound, “Black & White” is a bit different, with less reliance on the up-tempo beat and more emphasis on the guitar-driven love songs that lead singer John O’Callaghan seems so apt to croon.

Billboard album reviewer Megan Vick ventures that maybe “the Maine’s members grew up listening to quite a bit of Def Leppard and Poison” and with songs like “Fuel to the Fire” and “Give it to Me,” this is obviously the case. However, with “Color,” the band appropriately slows the tempo and relates: “We’re just trying to find some color/In this black and white world [.] Just know that everyone feels broken sometimes.” That’s a lyric that’s sure to grace many a teenagers Facebook page.

The band pre-released “Inside of You” and “Growing Up” as singles on iTunes and thus these songs became the unofficial anthems of the album (and rightly so). They carry perhaps the most relatable sound and message. In “Growing Up” O’Callaghan sings, “I flashback to the nights in your parent’s yard, when we drank too much and we talked about God,” proving the band hasn’t lost connection to the life they lived just four short years ago. They’ve been able to remain grounded in their Arizona roots and, thankfully, truly enjoy the music they share with us.

Tracks to Check Out: “Inside of You,” “Growing Up,” “Color.”

Michael Driscoll can be reached at MD737278@wcupa.edu.

Mike Posner has already had his fifteen minutes with the hot frat-house beat “Cooler than Me,” but will his album, “31 Minutes to Takeoff,” keep him around for say, a half an hour or so? Let’s ponder.

The “album” is comprised of some club-friendly synth tracks that are sure to please the average partygoer but in its totality the sound is pretty unseasoned. . As Rolling Stone aptly puts it he’s “still at the kegger.”

It would appear he may even have a case of word vomit, especially in “Cheated,” in which he yells out the actual name of his ex (Caroline).which is both awkward and unnecessary.

Much of the early press surrounding Posner and his debut labeled him “the next JT” but I have to point out the obvious now that we’ve heard his entire album-he doesn’t have those chops.

His gravelly vocal stylings are fine though and the track beats laid behind him can make up for most of what his voice lacks. If you’re looking for a pretty typical debut album, take a listen. It’s definitely not the worst one I’ve heard.

“Please Don’t Go” and “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” are probably the next most marketable tracks because they’re pretty radio-friendly and, thankfully, lack the raw/vengeful moments of some of his other songs.

Sorry Mike, but we don’t like to listen to you calling out your ex-girlfriend. We weren’t there, and-we don’t care; let that remain a “Dear Diary” moment.

Tracks to Check Out: “Please Don’t Go” and “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”

I’d give it a B- (For making me pretty uncomfortable). Caroline Stevens, I’m sure you’re a very nice girl.

Michael Driscoll can be reached at MD737278@wcupa.edu.

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