“American Candy is the junk they get you hooked on. Anything without a heartbeat. The manufactured, manipulative, soul less garbage that is fed to us daily. It is anything that attempts to entertain or please or persuade with complete disregard for integrity and character. It’s everything I don’t want to be or be a part of.” (x)
The concept even follows through with the album cover as you can see the “perfect” headshot- the symmetry, the seemingly flawless face and bubble, and rich colors which are all too good to be true. Aside from addressing the current state of mainstream pop culture through its title and theme, the album’s light and groovy sound also comes with a deeper reasoning. It was written with a “bounce and groove” in mind and it’s definitely obvious when you hear the first track, Miles Away. As John has said in recent interviews, he wrote the album with the aforementioned concept in mind as well as a better psyche. He admits that he’s in better place in his life and he wanted that to be translated into their music so that in return, it may make someone else’s life a little easier.
While lyrically, it showcases John O's best. Songs like Diet Soda Society and 24 Floors are written very poetically as they convey wise thoughts in an organized manner. However, there are some that seem prosaic as heard in (Un)lost and Another Night on Mars. It’s as if there’s something missing in terms of lyrics, which is really disappointing considering the content had great potential. The ten songs are mainly about social commentary, life, and love (for yourself, your friends, and life.) One notable detail is that there isn’t a love song on the album nor does it reference anything about romance.
The album is simple and straight to the point, yet complex and powerful all at the same time. A difficult blend that not a lot of bands can achieve. And if this album is any indication of the band’s continuing progression as skilled musicians, then we can be sure that any future endeavors will be fun, soulful and most of all, genuine.
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