Shout it Out by Hanson is one of the most fun albums I’ve had the pleasure of getting into this year.
One of the best things about this album is the catchy optimism of it. From the opening track “Waiting For This”, it seems that it’s all going to be bright and sweet, like a bag of lolly mix. But by the end of the album, you realize that Shout it Out is more like a box of chocolates. There’s a good dose of tender bittersweetness in there, and I was glad to find something to tickle my emo side. “Use me up” and “Me, Myself and I” are two of my favorite slower songs of the album.
Musicianship is a clear highlight, thanks to the old-school soul influence. Good, old-fashioned horns, joyful piano lines, and guitar solos each get the spotlight at the most perfect moments, clearly heard in “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin.’”
The lyrics in general have a more ‘tell’ than ‘show’ style, leading some critics to feel that the band’s lyrical skills are a bit juvenile. But I think, when it comes to Hanson, some things might be best left straight-forward and simple. For instance, “Kiss Me When You Come Home” has simple lyrics, but does not lack in power. I also love that the band stuck a bit of humor into the album. In “Give a Little,” the band offers their tips for getting the girl, delivered in a cheeky way.
Hanson has developed a lot since “MMMBop,” but the heart of their music is still the same. Their message still has a profound emphasis on friendship and moving on in life. In this album, we are reminded to speak our mind, not waste time, and do the things we want to do—take the plunge. I recommend this album for anyone in need of a little uplifting. Expect it to put a bounce in your step.
Shani is a little devil living in New Zealand, who will one day rule the fashion world with her kindred brain-spirit, Vikki. She is currently involved in an intimate relationship with music and handbags, and busy completing studies in marketing and international business. In her spare time, she enjoys pasta, laughs, and dreams of hot air ballooning in Slovenia.