June 18, 2014 The Maine – Forever Halloween Deluxe Edition (Album review)
The Tempe, Arizona-based band, The Maine released the deluxe edition of their 2013 record Forever Halloween on June 17th. Days after the band’s summer long trek on Van’s Warped Tour, the re-release out via 8123
Records features a list of extras fans will want to get their hands on. This edition includes the entire regular album, including songs such as “Sad Songs” and “Run” which have become fan favorites often performed regularly at The Maine concerts. This time bonuses include five tracks that were not previously released on Forever Halloween. CrypticRock previously gave Forever Halloween five out of five stars, a perfect score, so these five new songs have a great deal to live up to.
The first new track on the album, “So Criminal” has a classic The Maine feel and is sure to be an instant favorite for fans. The sound is reminiscent of the pop/punk days for the Maine and strays away from the softer rock feel that they had previously been exploring. Despite having less of a rock feel, “So Criminal” still fits within the genre of the album and the band as it does not venture too far from what fans would expect. The song immediately showcases the smooth and even vocals of frontman John O’Callaghan. The music builds and allows for more aggression in O’Callaghan’s voice momentarily at the end of the last chorus, which is pleasant to the ear. The vocals are still skillfully done and as smooth as O’Callaghan’s has displayed through past albums.
The track “Vanilla” is more in line with the rock feel of Forever Halloween with the desire to remain unique and stay true to one’s self evident in the lyrics as other previously released songs. The importance of living a good life and being a good person is the focus of the next song, “Ugly On The Inside”. O’Callaghan sings of the shallowness of exterior beauty and how insignificant it is in comparison to interior beauty. The line “You can change your face but it’s a waste of time, because it don’t change the fact that you’re ugly on the inside” highlights the moral of the song very well. The beat and sound of this song keeps up with the faster paced songs on the album such as “Take What You Can Carry” and “Love and Drugs”. The catchy chorus and meaningful lyrics are what fans have come to expect and love about The Maine. “Bliss” also conveys a message fans should embrace, advocating to find peace and allowing one’s self to actually be happy. They stress not to let small things get in the way of happiness, which is a beautiful message, and one that will certainly give fans hope and a pick me up when needed.
“Ice Cave” slows the beat down considerably for The Maine. The song illustrates the ability of everyone in the group to transition between genres and sounds effortlessly graceful with a precision they have mastered no matter what sound they embrace for a given song. Strong vocals with sharp, precise guitar work from Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco demonstrate the growth in the group from their debut EP The Way We Talk (2007).
Typically re-releases deluxe editions of albums are not reviewed favorably, as they usually feature very little new music, and fans always want as much new music as they can get. The deluxe edition of Forever Halloween is absolutely worth the re-purchase though. Fans are getting five new songs and each and every one is cohesive within the theme of the album and demonstrates the growth and maturity of The Maine, in addition, they stay true to themselves. CrypticRock gives the deluxe edition of Forever Halloween 4.5 out of 5 stars.