First of all, it was recorded live. Live? Yes, live as in they recorded the whole project using a tape machine just like in the 80's. And unlike the usual recording process wherein each instrument is recorded separately, they all came in a room and played together so if somebody messed up, they had to start from the beginning. Bassist, Garrett Nickelsen even admitted that he couldn't imagine recording another album any other way since it sounded better and it would help them play live concerts. Also, they hired a new producer, Brendan Benson, for the album because as Pat Kirch put it "He didn't care how much he was going to get paid. He didn't care to talk about what kind of album we wanted to make. He just wanted to get in a room with us and make music." And that's what they did: make music. Right after hearing just two demos, Brendan decided to record Happy on the first day!
Unlike their 2011 release which lacked coherency between the songs, this album definitely did not have the same problem. Even their Facebook announcement from last 2012 perfectly sums it up by saying "The songs are quite uplifting but you can hear some sort of struggle or darkness hidden underneath it all." Sad, creepy, and somehow heavy are the underlying tones in all of the songs (even in the upbeat tracks such as Take What You Can Carry and Love & Drugs) and it makes sense considering that it is titled Forever Halloween. But despite those dark themes, the album is still able to give you that positive and feel good vibe that The Maine is always able to bring to the table.
Everything about the album is honest, raw, and hauntingly beautiful. If you haven't listened to The Maine's most recent LP yet, then I suggest you turn off the lights, lie in bed, and listen to the whole album from start to finish. Forever Halloween just proves that The Maine can make almost anything sound good.
- Victoria Urrutia
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