The Maine has come a long way since the release of their debut full-length album, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. In the past decade they’ve grown from young kids with a dream into truly talented musicians – a fact that is evident in their latest album Lovely, Little, Lonely.
Even though each song on Lovely, Little Lonely is a hit in its own right, they make the most sense within the context of the whole. The album flows seamlessly from one song to the next and as a result The Maine succeeds in crafting a story that demands your full attention from start to finish.
Lovely, Little, Lonely starts out sure and confident in “Don’t Come Down,” a bright and hopeful track about living in the moment. It’s fun and carefree as John O’Callaghan opens the album with the lines: “Here’s to now/And nothing else.” But over the course of the album, the band realizes that they are no longer kids and that life is anything but certain.
“Bad Behavior” reflects that initial lighthearted disposition, but as the album continues listeners can hear the band take on more serious ideas. “Taxi” addresses the melancholy question: “Is the sadness everlasting?” Despite earnestly insisting, “Love, I think it is,” the song remains surprisingly hopeful and cheery.
In “The Sound Of Reverie” and “Lost In Nostalgia,” The Maine comes to grips with lost youth. “The Sound of Reverie” celebrates being alive despite no longer being seventeen in an infectious and bittersweet chorus (“We’re no longer seventeen/But we’re still young so/Dance with me in naivety”). Meanwhile “Lost In Nostalgia” is moodier with a funky bass line guiding the track – a different aesthetic for Lovely, Little, Lonely. The track is short yet bold, choosing not to dwell in the past but keep moving towards the future.
Sprinkled throughout the album are the transitional interludes that Lovely, Little, Lonely takes its title from. The longest of these is “Lonely,” which appears as the penultimate track. A wispy song that fuses ethereal electronic elements with forlorn piano and guitar melodies, “Lonely” is sad and sweet and beautiful. It gradually builds into a calming white noise that propels you into the album’s final minutes.
Closer “How Do You Feel” ends things on a high note; it’s warm and sincere, questioning while remaining optimistic. By asking listeners, “You are alive/but are you living,” it makes them think about what it truly means to be alive and challenges them to start living.
These days it’s common for people to focus on the singles from an album, but Lovely, Little, Lonely challenges listeners to re-evaluate the way they approach new music. It draws you in from start to finish with indie pop sensibilities, while remaining true to the band’s rock roots. The journey the band takes – realizing that they’re not as young as they once were and making the conscious effort to understand what that means – is one that everyone must take at some point in their lives. For many of The Maine’s fans this album may be the catalyst that starts it.