The Maine – Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Band: The Maine
Album: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Fearless

1. Everything I Ask For
2. We All Roll Along
3. Girls Do What They Want
4. I Must Be Dreaming
5. Into Your Arms
6. Time To Go
7. This is The End
8. Whoever She Is
9. Count ‘Em One, Two, Three
10. Kiss and Sell
11. You Left Me
12. We’ll All Be…
Fearless Records has become the epicenter for pop rock music in the last few year, Bands like Mayday Parade and Every Avenue have quickly become household names and it’s almost no surprise that their newest addition to the pop rock scene, The Maine, are most likely set to follow suit. Can’t Stop Wont Stop is a care free record full of sing alongs, gang vocals, and most of all, fun. This is the kind of record that summers are set to and that teens decorate their myspace with lyrics for, but that doesn’t mean it has no substance or lasting value. On the contrary, this one might just be around for awhile.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop begins with he stunning, “Everything I Ask For,” which, to me, is radio ready. Following a fuzzy intro, we’re met with a tale of being in a relationship with someone who should be your everything, but makes you miserable. I could relate to this and I’m sure most of you can as well. This track also introduces us to The Maine’s easy going fun rock style and group harmonies. The song is constructed well and with a four letter word tucked into the chorus, teens will eat it up because it’s just dirty enough to get their parents riled up without being overly offensive. “We All Roll Along,” is a typical “looking back on the days of our innocence” song, but with a twist only The Maine can bring. Vocalist John O’Callaghan has such a marketable voice and the instrumentation just plays along with him so well that regardless of source material for the song, you’re pulled in. I’ve heard many of these looking back songs in my day, but this one stands out, especailly in the pop rock field. It doesn’t hurt that Matt Squire produced this album like a painting by Van Gogh either, but the band stands strong on their own as well. This is followed by some engaging guitar work on, “Girls Do What They Want.” and then by the rocker, “I Must Be Dreaming.” “Dreaming,” which is laced with guitar work and contains the album title, is easily one of the most stand out tracks on the album. From the basic blueprints of the song in the music to the lyrical twists John performs, this song has not one flaw in my mind and kept me hitting the repeat button.

“Into Your Arms,” is a heavy ballad with some gorgeous, yet simple piano work. John’s vocals are clean and wonderful, as is the simple acoustic work during the verses. It’s nice to see a band in this genre stretching their legs on their first full length like The Maine does here. This is followed by the unbelievably catchy, “Time To Go.” From the moment John mentions getting on the dance floor, I don’t see how anybody can resist the urge to do just that. Now that the band has pulled us out of our seats, they keep the fun times going with, “This is The End.” Though the song has a depressing tale of love to tell, the music keeps you bopping along the whole time. I think this is a key to The Maine’s style and it’s what makes them so great; the can balance emotions both musically and lyrically as to not make us sway too much and therefore we stay in the groove of the record quite well.

With, “Whoever She is,” the band takes a softer note once more and is kept simple while being quite solid. Made up mostly of acoustic guitar and bells, this track is sure to tug at teen hearts. However, if you’re not one for the emotional stuff, “Count ‘Em,” as well as, “Kiss and Sell,” pick the beat up a bit and are much more approachable. “Sell,” has a very laid back chorus to counteract a fast verse which works amazingly well and shouldn’t be missed. This leads us to,”You Left Me,” which starts out quite heavy on electronics, which is a new element to the record and continues to use them throughout the song. Something about this song jsut didn’t hit me as well as the rest of the record, but I can see it being quite marketable to teens as the whole “dance rock” thing is huge right now.As the track fades, we realize we have only one song left to experience and that is, “We’ll All Be.” This track starts with an almost Western feel before breaking into a pulsing drum led verse. I don’t know if this genre can have epic songs, but this is surely a contender to say it can. It constantly builds with a tale of growing up that is sure to strike teens like lightning to the spine and doesn’t let you go until all five and a half minutes have played out and left you smiling.

The Maine are not exactly reinventing the wheel with Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, but they are making the wheel feel new again. This is album was written to be an album that teens will one day look back on as a pivotal record in their youth and it has all the elements to do just that. Not only is it easily accessible and engaging, but it’s wonderfully written and feels like it came straight from the hearts of each member. I don’t know one person who won’t find something on this record to connect with and that’s definitely saying a lot. If The Maine don’t blow up after this release, I think I will honestly lose some faith in the youth of America. Forget about bands putting out solid singles and filler laced albums and check out The Maine because they are the real deal.
*Written By: James Shotwell*
GRADE: 8.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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