Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Inside the Box - A Review

A few days ago, I posted a review of the new EP on the HNET forum - this is a slightly edited version, saved for posterity, because the world needs my opinions, of course…

Dance Like You Don't Care
This is the song I should not like because it's synth-tastic and a nonsensical dance track. But it's really catchy and it actually makes you want to dance (I don't dance, so that says something). And am I the only one who mentally substitutes the lyric ‘jump in the air like a wild man’ with ‘wild mare’ or ‘wild bear’? 

Give Me Your Best Shot
This is my 'skip it’ track. It's just not a style of music I like at all - kind of dancey late 70s funky something? I don’t have the musical terminology for it but it’s this year's answer to MMFH's 'Show Me The Way’. Although I get it that that kind of music belongs to Hanson's roots and inspiration, it doesn't speak to me at all and actually it’s the only song that bored me during the stream.

Grace Unknown
Well. There we were, all panicking that there was no Isaac lead on this EP and then he hits us with this beauty. Quite simply, this is one of Hanson's best songs, period. I'm honoured that they decided to give it to us as a Members' track, but really this song should be on an album, changing people's minds about this band. The lyrics are beautiful and Isaac totally nails it. 

Don't Hide Your Tears 
I must confess that this song had left me a bit cold during the stream, but actually, now I quite like the finished version. Hanson channel their inner Beach Boys with the melody and although I'm not a massive BB fan, even I occasionally give "Pet Sounds" a spin. Nice experiment and really interesting, intricate harmonies.

What Are We Fighting For
I really liked this song during the stream and I still like it in the finished form, although I’m not hugely keen on the arrangements - I would have preferred a more stripped down sound. But it’s still a fantastic song and Zac’s singing reminds me of Chris Martin from Coldplay in certain parts. I’m very glad that they decided to keep the lyrical theme universal, instead of narrowing it down to a love conflict type of narrative. I think this song will really work live.

In Conclusion
Inside the Box is not going to take the place of “Sound of Light” in my own personal Members EP chart. However, I find the experimental side kind of fun and interesting; the results are songs that don’t sound like Hanson songs (whatever a Hanson song is supposed to sound like). This EP offers an eclectic selection and includes a song that already shows all the signs of a classic.

Hopes & Fears (a tarot reading style heading) - I fear a forthcoming album full of ‘on trend’ synth-heavy songs. I hope that with this EP, Hanson got this 80s synth phase out of their system and by the time they record the next album, they’ll pick up their guitars and go back to a more rock’n’roll sound.

'Inside the Box' can be purchased as part of the 2015 Fan Club membership on

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