Every Man for Himself [Green Cover]

Every Man for Himself [Green Cover]

3.5 2
by Hoobastank
     
 

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While the title of this disc -- Hoobastank's first release since becoming a bona fide chart juggernaut -- might suggest that the band is pulling apart at the seams, Every Man for Himself is actually their most unified effort to date. Rather than simply turning on the stylistic Xerox machine and conjuring up a dozen or so revisions of the formula that made "TheSee more details below

Overview

While the title of this disc -- Hoobastank's first release since becoming a bona fide chart juggernaut -- might suggest that the band is pulling apart at the seams, Every Man for Himself is actually their most unified effort to date. Rather than simply turning on the stylistic Xerox machine and conjuring up a dozen or so revisions of the formula that made "The Reason" such a durable radio favorite, the three remaining members -- bassist Markku Lappalaninen split during the album's recording -- decided to branch out, both in terms of sound and vision. On tracks like the propulsive "Born to Lead," which features a dropped-in sample of a drill instructor barking orders, there's ample evidence that, while singer Doug Robb may sometimes wear his heart on his sleeve, he's also willing to roll that sleeve up and get down-and-dirty. Much of the more volume-centric material mines fairly modern metal territory, but there are also a few surprises, from the sprightly "Look Where We Are" (which could pass for one of the Eagles' more sinewy offerings) to the dance floor-aimed lust-fest "Inside of You." Naturally, Every Man for Himself is punctuated with a smattering of ballads, some of which are rather ponderous. Others, however, like the flute-kissed closer, "More than a Memory," have the sort of emotional and melodic impact that could easily stand the test of time. While Every Man for Himself doesn't break much new ground, the band's willingness to take a few steps into previously uncharted territory makes them a lot easier to follow.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Hoobastank once and forever banished any lingering doubts that they were a bunch of Bonnaroo hippies, à la Ekoostik Hookah, with their 2003 sophomore effort, The Reason, a strident collection of loud, angsty rockers that sounded as if it could have come out in the twilight days of post-grunge in 1997/1998. Not catchy or bratty enough to truly be pigeonholed as punk-pop and way too big and slick to be emo, they were a straight-up, hard-edged alt-rock band, only without any suggestion of being outsiders, either in their sound or intent. They were anthemic, and nowhere more so than on the power ballad title track, which became a smash in 2004, climbing all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Two years after that, Hoobastank delivered Every Man for Himself, their third album and their first as bona fide rock stars, and it sure sounds like the work of a band that's now established: it's slick and stylish, big and bright, designed for arenas and as bumper music on both MTV and VH1. Bassist Markku Lappalaninen may have left the fold, but his absence is not the reason for the slight changes in their sound; he would not be the one to polish the production, to add the strings, or to add a heavy dose of Franz Ferdinand-styled disco-rock, either. These are all things that the remaining three -- vocalist Douglas Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, and drummer Chris Hesse -- along with returning producer Howard Benson brought to the table, and the result is a record that sounds a little more colorful and a little more appropriate than its two predecessors, which tended to be slightly monotonous and dull. The proliferation of keyboards, strings, acoustic guitars, and even horns gives this some welcome sonic variety, which helps balance the plodding sincerity of the group's grinding guitars and Robb's ham-fisted lyrics ("I am not the next of them/I am the first of me"). And since Hoobastank is about the overall sound instead of the specifics of the song or performances, it is good that there is more happening on the surface, since it makes the album coherent and easier to digest. But even if Every Man for Himself was constructed with the mainstream in mind, it likely won't win any new converts. [Every Man for Himself was released with two separate covers presenting the same artwork in different colors (à la Split Enz with True Colours: there is a green variation of the front-cover fingerprint and a red variation).]

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/2006
Label:
Island
UPC:
0602498788561
catalogNumber:
000676202

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hoobastank   Primary Artist
Bill Bergman   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Howard Benson   Keyboards
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Lovitt   Trumpet
Chris Chaney   Bass
Dan Estrin   Guitar
Douglas Robb   Vocals
Chris Hesse   Drums

Technical Credits

Howard Benson   Programming,Producer
Paul DeCarli   Pro-Tools
Ted Jensen   Mastering
Andy West   Art Direction
Mike Plotnikoff   Engineer
Casey Stone   Engineer
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Deborah Lurie   String Arrangements
Eric Wong   Marketing
Brett Bair   Management
Andy West   Art Direction

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