The Maine are a pop band with constant twists presented in their music from their clear combinations of Midwest and southern music styles. While the band, especially in their earlier days could be considered pop-punk, the genres have expanded so much that calling them a pop band fits almost too well. XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time is the brand new release from The Maine and featured itself as another instance of The Maine expanding their definition of pop and pop-punk. While I personally expected to be more disappointed than I was, The Maine surprised me with a slightly change in sound over another era entirely. Below, we’re going to review The Maine’s newest album XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time and break down each song.
Sticky was not only the lead song on XOXO but also immediately the most popular song on the new record. From its classic The Maine elements to newer elements of production are clear from the start with Sticky. While the band have changed their sound with every release, Sticky immediately gave impressions of American Candy, leading XOXO to already be a home run among fans.
Lips, like most songs from The Maine, was a dream but felt more like a bonus track from American Candy over anything else which may explain its popularity. Although not the most popular song on the album, it’s clearly the most song that stars the band’s older sound, making it some sort of fan favorite.
Love In Real Time
Love In Real Time was one of a few songs on the record that are reminiscent of The 1975, but at the core is without a doubt a highly original song from The Maine. Generally The Maine refers to their albums as eras, with the band changing their attire and color theme, at the very least, with each album recently. While not necessarily a concept album, XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time represented sort of a concept them with this song and Anxiety In Real Time expressing the heaviest themes.
High Forever certainly had the highest production of any song on the album but still felt very much like The Maine. The Maine has always been considered pop music but since records like American Candy and Black & White the band have stayed evolving. The song maintains the band’s usual, newer sound but also provided a much different surprising sound from The Maine.
Understandably the second most popular song from XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time, April 7th holds all values you’d expect to hear from any song by The Maine. April 7th wasn’t necessarily a love song as all songs from The Maine as about loving others as well as yourself, to the fullest extent. April 7th provides those themes possibly more than most songs on XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time.
If Your Light Goes Out
If Your Light Goes Out certainly felt like it should of been the final track on XOXO but after a full listen, the album played out absolutely perfect from front to back. If anything, If Your Light Goes Out represents the change the album is about to experience, as every song after this is change in mood from the previous tracks.
Pretender was one of several songs on XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time that displayed the band kept their dreamy pop influences and let them shine just as brightly as recently releases. Compared to the band’s earlier releases such as Pioneer and Black & White, Pretender is one example from XOXO that shows the band found a very specific sound and decided to build on it.
Dirty, Pretty, Beautiful
Dirty, Pretty, Beautiful is another song that’s reminiscent of The 1975, but is very clearly The Maine. Just the way the chorus combines with the rest of the band’s abilities just pulled the major influences from The 1975 and turned into classic The Maine. The Maine has always stood out and while their influences may seem obvious, the band always found a way to make it their own. Prior to this album, the band couldn’t really be noted as having any actual influences.
Anxiety In Real Time
As soon as Anxiety In Real Time started, the guitar work stood out not only as interesting for The Maine recently but interesting for their career in general. Like almost every The Maine song, Anxiety In Real Time has summer vibes and references to the season, as if the season belongs to the band.
Face Towards The Sun
While normally you’d expect the last song on an album, especially from a band such as The Maine, to be slower or more emotional. While this song is clearly emotional, Face Towards The Sun is anything but slow. Face Towards The Sun brings the beat and speed back up only to come down again and round out the perfect record from The Maine.
Overall from this review it felt as though The Maine have finally found their definitive sound with XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time. While the record contained many older elements from The Maine’s other albums, XOXO truly provided new insight to their unique style of pop music.