In its more than a decade-long career, The Maine has been a production machine, releasing seven full-length studio albums, an acoustic collection and a handful of EPs. Each era has its own sound that is always different from the last, as the Arizona natives experiment with sound and sentiment.
The Maine’s newest release You Are OK showcases a blend of strengths accumulated over its long career of appealing to the ears and hearts of its dedicated fan base, all with added sprinkles of creative experimentation.
The 10-track, 44 minute album starts off strong with rock ballad “Slip the Noose.” It teases the bits of orchestral strings woven intermittently into other tracks, blending surprisingly well with the heavy guitar more characteristic of the band’s earlier work.
Frontman John O’Callaghan shows off his vocal and songwriting skills, giving more minor tracks like “Heaven, We’re Already Here” a simultaneously melancholy and hopeful tone. His affinity for acoustic tracks shines in “Forevermore,” while the rapid-fire verses of “I Feel It All Over” exudes an almost rap-like quality.
High points on the album come when The Maine does what it’s always done best — fast-paced, guitar-heavy emo music. “My Best Habit” shone as the second single released prior to the complete album, and “Tears Won’t Cry (SHINJŪ)” and “One Sunset” are powerful standouts with infectious beats and keen lyrics.
You Are OK is a sharp mix of stylistic choices, but despite the differences between tracks, the album preserves a sense of cohesiveness because of its idyllic theme: You are OK, and if you aren’t yet, you will be soon.
The Maine is one of the lucky bands that survived the end of the emo era by maturing creatively as its fan base did. You Are OK is grown-up rock ‘n’ roll that tells you you’ll survive your grown-up problems. It’s a comfort and a joy of an album that puts its arms around you and lets you know that even when the world lets you down, your favorite bands won’t.