released July 13th, 2010

from the album - Right Girl

from all music

Despite sharing their name with a northeastern state, the Maine formed in 2007 in Tempe, AZ, a collegiate suburb of Phoenix. Most of the bandmembers — singer John O'Callaghan, guitarists Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco, bassist Garrett Nickelsen, and drummer Pat Kirch — were in high school at the time, and the guys wasted little time turning their '90s radio rock band influences into a familiar, infectious pop-punk sound. The Maine signed to Fearless Records and released a five-song concept EP, The Way We Talk, in 2007. After performing on the Vans Warped Tour one year later, the group issued a full-length debut album, Can't Stop Won't Stop, which was produced by emo-pop veteran Matt Squire. The record peaked at number 40 on the Billboard charts and caught the ear of Warner Bros. Records, who signed the Maine to a major-label contract in 2009. After releasing a deluxe version of Can't Stop Won't Stop later that year, the group returned to the studio, eventually emerging in 2010 with the sophomore album Black & White.

album review

On their first major-label release (after an EP and album for Fearless), the Maine take a step away from the emo-pop sound they began with. Instead of fast tempos, sunny songs about girls, and Auto-Tuned vocals, Black & White has a more mature and measured approach. The tempos are nearly all mid, the mood is often melancholy or nostalgic, and the overall sound is much slicker and more adult. The presence of Hammond organ is a trademark signifier of a serious and adult band and it creeps into a handful of songs here, layered in among the acoustic guitars. Not that their previous work was raw by any means, but it did have a youthful brashness and exuberance that’s totally missing here. There’s no trace of punk left in their approach, in other words. In fact, if the vocals had more of a twang, the record could pass for a modern country release. It will certainly appeal to the same kind of fans who like Taylor Swift — people who like solid, catchy songs, sung earnestly. There are definitely quite a few songs that would sound good on the radio, like the hooky "Fuel to the Fire" and the cute "Right Girl," but overall the record and the band lack the kind of individuality that will really hook people. Black & White sounds more like a genetically engineered record than the organic work of a bunch of guys who really care about what they are doing.

Track Listing

1 Don't Stop Now Maine 3:36
2 Right Girl Maine, Walker 3:36
3 Growing Up David Bassett, Maine 4:00
4 Fuel to the Fire Briley, Calitri, Maine, Ossoff 3:11
5 Inside of You Maine, Weinburg 3:50
6 Every Road Maine 3:37
7 Listen to Your Heart Maine, Maloy 3:15
8 Saving Grace Maine 3:53
9 Give It to Me Maine, Wattenburg 2:42
10 Color Maine 3:41