Web Exclusive: The Walk – Hanson

    This has certainly been a year of has-beens who came back with dreadful new identities: Irish crooner Dolores O’Riordan traded in her blithe Cranberries lyrics and carefully cropped pixie cut to attempt a mature new stance against her lingering inner zombies, while rap-rockers Linkin Park crawled out of their dark hole to try their hand at trite political commentary. But just when all seemed lost, Third Eye Blind’s surprisingly energetic performance at Sun God showed us that it is possible to rekindle our deep-seated nostalgic appreciation for the simple genius of late ’90s classics. But pop trio Hanson overcoming their one-hit-wonder stigma of indecipherable prepubescence? That’s pushing it. Zach, Taylor and Isaac, the Mmmbopping brothers from Oklahoma, are back with a new album and matured identity – that is, they’ve finally emerged from the awkwardness of puberty, and after fathering a few kids and ditching their blond Simba manes, they have finally grown up.

    Since Middle of Nowhere, the record-breaking album featuring that unforgettable mmmmantra that we still can’t figure out, Hanson has put out numerous other projects that have all managed to remain fairly under the radar. But the group’s newest endeavor, “”The Walk,”” tries hard to prove that the boys are serious about their comeback. Complete with chanting Zulu children, the trio’s gospel-rock mix of Southern spirituals and bluesy Maroon 5 knock-offs includes a strangely placed humanitarian cause in “”The Great Divide”” (a tribute to AIDS awareness), as well as vaguely religious lyrics in “”Fire on the Mountain – “”We build our ivory towers to protect us from the flood/ A fleet of vessels made of wood so they won’t rust/ But can we see the bottom of the bottle when we start to drink?”” – that will undoubtedly have you feeling like a 12-year-old again. Obviously, teenie boppers will still love it, but considering the fact that we’ve all grown up and moved clumsily from the confusing haze of middle school to the multi-dimensional maze of college, our tastes have changed, and although it is not certain whether Hanson will be able to replicate Third Eye Blind’s Sun God magic, there is no doubt that once singles start surfacing, Hanson’s tunes are bound to get stuck in your head – even if you don’t understand them.

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