This decade has been kind to The Maine. Not only have they been pioneers by one of the first mainstream bands in their prime to go independent and release their own music, they’ve promoted themselves more than capably. Then, there’s how they’ve played their shows. They put on a free tour. They started their own festival. The Maine is a ground-breaking band. That’s before you even mention the music. Since releasing Black & White in 2010, the band hasn’t released the same album twice. They’ve shifted and changed. They’ve evolved and grew. Now, their new album is You Are OK and it’s another step in the development of The Maine.
In terms of production, this album takes an interesting approach. There’s a different approach on You Are OK. First, there’s the use of a lot of strings, but in synth form. Then they take the synth form of the strings and make them almost crunchy. It’s a unique sound that I don’t know if I’ve ever heard in mainstream music or any kind of music before. That crunchiness of those strings is just the start of how this album does things differently regarding production. Guitars are distorted, and noticeably different from anything else going right now. Production wise, this record is great.
When it comes to music and lyrics, this record is also doing some different things for The Maine. Lyrically, John O’Callaghan continues to grow up, so his lyrics grow up too. These lyrics aren’t about simple hopes and party life that you heard from O’Callaghan when The Maine were in their early twenties, this record is about depression, lost relationships, and other grown-up content that people in their less formidable years are going to relate to.
The Maine’s You Are OK continues the band’s trend of releasing great albums. They’ve managed to do it over and over for the past decade. It can be said for certain that this new album is undeniably The Maine in their purest form, that’s until they come out with a new album to put that stamp on in a couple of years.