When AP caught up with the Maine for this year’s Most Anticipated issue, frontman John O’Callaghan said, “I would like to give a little more of myself in these songs.” On Forever Halloween, he does just that. Then again, the Maine achieved that feat with 2011’s career highlight, Pioneer. Forever Halloween continues the Maine’s upward trajectory—O’Callaghan’s songwriting is stronger, and the ’90s alt-rock vibe they introduced on Pioneer is more prominent—but the lyrics are quite the opposite, dealing in somber, real-world situations, from the gilded gleam of the business (“Birthday In LA”) to self-doubt (“Happy”) and damaged relationships (“These Four Words”). Don’t let the album’s dark overtones scare you away, though. The Maine have written another impressive album, proving once again they’re a damn good rock band.
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