The Maine’s new record Lovely Little Lonely embraces nostalgia in a way that shows they have grown up, but just a little. It evokes a tender youthfulness and tells the story of being lost in the past, but realizing it, and moving into the future with a new attitude. The record will surely earn them more young fans who can relate to simple emotion in their lyrics, but it also has enough experimentation to show that the group has matured since entering the pop punk scene.
The Maine has a specific sound that they have not diverted from on this record. It is percussive and energetic with a distinct production level, with a heartfelt and almost boy band pop-punk delivery. The record begins with a simplicity that might appeal more to young listeners and longtime fans, but begins to move in a more interesting pace with the sweet and distant piano interlude “Lovely.”
Another experimental track on the record is “Little,” with weird synth-grunge instrumentation and unexpected whispered lyrics. The title of the record is clearly meant to coordinate with these tracks, concluded by low-fi, alien, indie-pop track “Lonely.” These songs are almost like ghosts of the past, present, and future, breaking up an otherwise standard, fun-meets-sad, love-meets-longing, pop-punk record structure. It is a thoughtful through line that shows some maturity peeking out from their still youthful sound.
Stand out tracks from the record include the catchy and sweet “Do You Remember,” edgy but radio friendly “I Only Wanna Talk to You,” and the freeing record closer “How Do You Feel?” As the album moves along, listeners are taken from a longing look into the past to a passionate drive toward the future. The album starts off with a more teenage attitude, but by “How Do You Feel” (the album’s sixth track) they plead with knowing inspiration to their fans “You are alive, but are you living?”
Even though Lovely Little Lonely is a pretty standard pop-punk release, it has enough going on to set it apart from what The Main produced five years ago and suggest progress toward a more interesting indie-alternative sound. With such a young fan base, a hopeful message is vital and on this record they find a way to acknowledge regret and longing without putting their audience in a dark place. Check out the new album today and let us know what you think.