Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
2009 album from the Alterna-Rock heroes, produced by Howard Benson who is best known for his work with My Chemical Romance, Daughtry, Reliant K and Flyleaf. When a band has as much success as Hoobastank, the motivation to ... more »
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2009 album from the Alterna-Rock heroes, produced by Howard Benson who is best known for his work with My Chemical Romance, Daughtry, Reliant K and Flyleaf. When a band has as much success as Hoobastank, the motivation to top itself must come from within. That renewed desire can be heard from the very first notes of "My Turn," the first single from Fornever, which marks a return to the Rock roots of their first two releases, the platinum-plus self-titled debut and the two-million-plus-selling The Reason. With Fornever, Hoobastank have gotten in touch with what originally motivated them, which has made them stronger than ever. Hoobastank is Fornever.
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Definitely NOT The Reason.
Randy | 01/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Geez, who the heck remembers Hoobastank these days? They haven't had a really big hit since The Reason way back in 2003, and their last CD was lukewarm at best in terms of popularity. Most people didn't even know they were still making music.
Well, I did.
I'm a huge fan of Agoura Hills bands (which includes Linkin Park), and have been following Hoobastank since "Crawling in the Dark" back in 2001. They've maintained a similar sound throughout all their CDs, namely a particular kind of chord progression that solidly defines their sound. So, with that said, you'll easily be able to tell this is a Hoobastank album and not some imitator. It's very..."them".
However, it seems like the band is trying really, really hard to distance themselves from "The Reason", the song that basically labeled them as pop-rock for a few years, and move back into their post-grunge roots. You won't find any songs on here sounding like "The Reason", "Moving Forward", "If Only", "More Than a Memory", etc. Which, for me, is actually a downer since I love Doug Robb's voice on the softer songs. No, he's essentially yelling or wailing on every song in some form or another.
"My Turn" starts the record off with a decent hard-rocker akin to "Same Direction" or "Born to Lead". "I Don't Think I Love You" showcases a variety of vocal and guitar talents, with a laid-back groove, a driving beat, and equal parts yelling, grating and high-note wailing. "Slow Close, So Far" has a slower beat and a softer tone, referencing people watching the Iraq war on TV and looking for their loved ones in uniform. "All About You" is straight-up hard rock. If you liked "Without a Fight" you'll like this. "The Letter" and "Tears of Yesterday" are both slower rock songs, and could pass for singles easily. The latter has Doug singing in a non-yelling tone, but not quite to the crooning level he's had in past ballads. "Sick of Hanging On" is actually almost on the verge of metal, especially the hard-edged guitar riffs and less melodic chorus. "You're the One" is a nice ballad, though still harder than past affairs. The last 3 tracks, "Who the Hell Am I", "You Need to Be Here" and "Gone Gone Gone" almost make me think of country rock, especially the first. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but slow heavy drum beats and fast-paced vocals aren't exactly a staple of past albums. "You Need to Be Here" is my personal favorite, showcasing a slow beat, classic Hoobastank chord progression (think "Stay the Same") and some of Doug's softer vocals.
Overall, after 2 total listens my impression is that I need to have these songs grow on me, much in the same way that Every Man for Himself did. I'll still say my favorite album is EMfH: sure it was a little different but there were a LOT of standout songs showcasing not only beautiful vocals but excellent lyrics as well. For(N)ever, for now, seems almost like a step backward in terms of evolution for this band, bringing it back to the hard-edged songs of The Reason and the original Self-Titled. They've gone back to their roots, and I applaud them for making music for their hardcore fans first and bandwagon consumers second. I, personally however, prefer Every Man for Himself at the moment."
Hoobastank are "Sick Of Hanging On" and need another hit. An
Andrew Estes | Maine | 02/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Almost three years after releasing their third album -- the eclectic but unfortunate commercial bomb that was "Every Man For Himself" -- the three men that make up Hoobastank (who apparently still haven't welcomed a bassist into the official band) return with "For(N)ever," an album that attempts to cash in on past acheivements while simultaneously breaking new ground. But a lot has happened since Hoobastank last left a mark on the music scene, none more devastating to their career than the fact that the world of popular music has simply forgotten about them. That doesn't seem to be slowing down their game, though, as their fourth album is chock full of fluffy, heart-on-the-sleeve pop-rock tunes that seem primarily aimed at modern rock radio, if not the Top 40 charts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
As anyone who gave it a fair chance could tell you, "Every Man For Himself" was quite a bold album. It was poppier than any of Hoobastank's previous releases, but at the same time, darker and more mature. So to be served up what is essentially an updated clone of "The Reason" is quite disappointing. "For(N)ever" does little to stray from the formula that made the band a hit in the first place, and although some new sounds are tinkered with, it's nowhere near as ambitious as it's predeccessor. Fans of the first two albums will most likely love fare like "My Turn," "All About You" and "Gone, Gone, Gone," all of which feature the passively aggressive sound of their first album. It seems, though, that every other song has been written as an attempt to get the band's career back on track. "Tears Of Yesterday" -- while one of the more impressive songs on the album -- aims to be this year's hard-rock/pop crossover hit. Think "The Reason" only more upbeat and not as sappy. "So Close, So Far" is another one of the ballads that sticks out, sure to be a hit, but elsewhere, the cheese has been piled on in the form of the vomit-inducing "You're The One" and the slightly less offensive, but still meager "You Need To Be Here." "Sick Of Hanging On," coming across as a more aggressive "Make Yourself"-era Incubus and the lightly-Alice In Chains influenced "Who The Hell Am I?" help to bring some energy to the table, but can't save a sinking ship.
It's not that "For(N)ever" is a bad album, though. Aside from a few songs, it's perfectly listenable, but nothing more. It's a step down from the progression they've made through the years, and nowhere near as good or addictive as their first two major label affairs. It's short running time doesn't allow for much variety or enough "great" songs. You have to wonder why a band like "Hoobastank" would release their new album in January. Maybe had they spent a little more time filling the album with some better songs and dropping the ones that are obviously b-side material, the results would have made for one great summer album. Promoted enough, it could be a pop-hit, but it's doubtful."
Short In Time, Long On Energy
Lance G. Augustine | The Midwest, USA | 01/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's difficult to lay your dollars down for any album these days, especially when you get under 40 minutes of music, so my rating of 4 stars doesn't include a recommendation to buy this CD. But while you may not be getting a lot of bang for your buck here, you're still getting a lot of bang...as far as the music goes.
Don't expect any songs like "The Reason", because there aren't any. This is pretty much straight-ahead hard driving rock, and it's difficult to pick favorites because the songs are all on about the same footing. The guitars are hard and edgy, Doug Robbs vocals get pushed to the limit on most songs, and there are only a few songs where he uses his 'non'-edgy voice.
Collaborater/producer Howard Benson is back, and while there are signs of "commercialized" production (mainly, a smattering of the vocal special effects that seem to be so popular these days), this is mainly a guitar record. Sure, you get your three or four slower songs, but even those have an edgy character to them...there's only one song close to a true ballad, "You're The One", but songs like "Don't Think I Love You" and "So Close, So Far" are also laid back, and "Tears Of Yesterday" does away with distortion for the most part. But that doesn't mean the songs aren't very good. There's a good flow to this album...nothing really jumps out at you by being so different from the others. The intros are varied, but in most cases by the time you get to the chorus the songs are rocking pretty hard.
Other than the already released "My Turn", it's possible to see rock radio airplay out of all off the slightly slower songs, and "The Letter" has mainstream radio written all over it. So while this is definitely hard rock for most songs, catchy choruses are still there for every song. And if you don't like the more "commercial" songs, the end of the album has a few songs bordering on heavy metal at times (Gone, Gone, Gone).
So while I won't say "Go out and buy it", if you have a chance to hear this somewhere, you may find yourself thinking it's good enough to pick up...despite how short it is."