Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hanson: Timeless Pop, Beyond 'MMMBop'

Hanson; courtesy of the artist
by Afton Lorraine Woodward
November 11, 2010
Most bands would just be taking off as their members hit their mid-20s, but at 29, 27 and 24, Isaac, Taylor and Zachary Hanson are already old pros. The band may still be trying to shake off the stigma surrounding 1997's chart-topping "MMMBop," but Hanson (now with shorter hair) has become comfortable in its niche somewhere between Top 40 pop and indie folk-rock.

The Hanson brothers have always done their own songwriting and played their own instruments, and their many and marvelous talents have helped set them apart from other '90s all-male bands. Thirteen years after Middle of Nowhere, Hanson still clings to its slick, tightly wound melodies, but the band continues to build impressively on the inspiration it draws from Motown, '70s rock and everything in between.

Shout It Out features what ought to be considered a career highlight for Hanson: "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'," a perfectly soul-infused pop song completed with cowbell, horns and belted-out harmonies. It stands to reason that the video, inspired by the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, would be a hit, too — it sums up Hanson's modern-day persona as a band that's polished, charming and confident enough to take delight in everything that came before it.

This story originally ran on June 24, 2010.

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