The Maine: Third Album “Pioneer” is a Charm

Leah Canonico

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – or in this case, the music by it’s album cover. Despite its questionable album artwork, The Maine’s new album Pioneer is one you’ll want to invest in (or illegally download).  As a fan of  The Maine since their first album, I think it’s safe to say that that this may be their best album yet.

For me, at least, waking up early (midnight, to be exact) to download the album off of iTunes the second it became available on December 6th, was totally worth it. I was surprised to hear that this album has a different sound than either Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (released in 2008) or Black and White (released in 2008).

Known for their catchy pop/punk flair, Pioneer reveals a more rock/soulful side of The Maine that has always been present in their past albums but not to this extent. They use catchy guitar licks and mellow piano riffs (most exemplary in songs like “Thinking of You) to cultivate their new sound. If you’re someone who HATES when bands change their sound, but love The Maine, ease yourself into Pioneer by listening to “Don’t Give Up On Us”,  “Some Days” and “Like We Did”, as they most resemble the infectious pop-songs that we know and love The Maine for.

Another difference that I noticed was the new found maturity in lead singer John O’Callaghan’s voice. He has always had a unique husky voice, but on this album, it sounds especially raw and honest. The Maine has also cleaned up their content a little bit. Not that it was ever excplicit, but they have foregone the large numbers of  innuendos cleverly slipped into their songs. Of course, there is “My Heroine” which is a little “risque”, but it hardly sets the tone for the album. Though the lyrics aren’t as flirty as past albums, they do bring something else to the table: they are introspective and deep. There are also a few ballads/slower songs on this album (“I’m Sorry, “Jenny”, “While Listening to Rock & Roll”, “Misery”) as opposed to only one or two on past albums.

If you’re looking to get a taste of the album, listen to “Identity”, “Don’t Give Up On Us”, “When I’m At Home” and “Time”. These songs best exemplify The “New” Maine. I find it extremely impressive that The Maine was able to produce this fantastic album only a year after their second album was released, and can’t wait to see them preform these amazing songs live.

Take a listen!

Don’t Give Up On Us: