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.
Every Man for Himself 3.8 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Summer is here and my reasons for knowing this have nothing to do with the calendar’s separation of seasons. Hoobastank’s newest, and best album in my opinion, has arrived and brought with it a heat that’ll set radio airwaves on fire. Every track on Hoobastank’s third album has great radio play potential, excluding the album opener, which is a clip of dialogue spoken by the jackass drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. It’s a real rarity for me to purchase a cd in which every track is a hit, but Every Man For Himself threatens to be one of the few exceptions, with maybe one or two tracks that didn’t quite sweep me away, or as far away as the other ten were able to. Still, even the album’s least appealing tracks (in this case for me they were “Without a Fight” and “Look Where We Are”) aren’t bad so much as they are incapable of being compared to the excellence of the other songs. When Hoobastank first arrived on the scene with their self-titled debut album back in 2001, many were lured into their fan-base with the hit singles “Crawling in the Dark” and “Running Away.” I was one of them, but became so obsessed with those two single tracks that I didn’t so much give the rest of the album a chance. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the first album, but if memory serves me correctly, I only took three or four favorable songs from the cd and had forgotten about them until 2003, when they released their follow up, The Reason, which featured one of the biggest hit singles of 2003/2004, “The Reason”. It didn’t take long for that song to become the national anthem of relationships, both beginning and crumbling, and with its release, Hoobastank was able to make it abundantly clear that they were a force to be reckoned with. And, as it turned out, the number of songs that appealed to me on their second album had doubled to six, which had thus resulted with them finding a place in my list of definitive, favorite bands list. In comes Every Man For Himself, some three years after The Reason, and what Hoobastank has managed to do this time around is not only craft a successful achievement, but they have proven here that their talent is a staying power. It’s quite possibly the best rock album of 2006. With this third outing, Hoobastank tackles a variety of issues through their lyrics, but more importantly, most of what they sing about here can be understood because they’re singing about universal concepts. In “If I Were You,” (a track already receiving popular radio play) vocalist Doug Robb sings of the lack of appreciation many people have for their better-than-average lives. All people ever do is complain, but by taking a step back, Robb suggests, they’ll be able to take in the bigger picture, which reveals to them that they’ve really got more than they could ever ask for – the act of loving others and the gift of being loved in return. One of the most underestimated abilities in the music industry is the ability for a song to both sound good and mean something. Hoobastank’s lyrics are well conveyed, but more importantly, well sung, creating an overall pleasant experience. Some of the best tracks on the album are “If Only” (a very melodic, both melancholy and uplifting track that’ll sooth one’s eardrums even when cranked to the loudest volume), “The First of Me” (“I’m not the next of them/ I am the first of me!”), “Good Enough” (a nicely developed rock track), and “Inside of You,” which paints an accurate portrait of a sex-hungry man’s conscience, while at the same time, being a catchy tune you’ll likely wind up singing while driving past a flock of beautiful women with your windows down. Every Man For Himself closes with Hoobastank’s new experiment i
More than 1 year ago
Awesome, just plain awesome. I thought this was the best Hooba album out there. The album experimented with new sounds and instruments.More mushy ballads, but REALLY GOOD mushy ballads. Doug's voice improved...A LOT and so is Estrin on the guitar. I especially liked (besides "If I Were You") "Inside of You" (The flirtatious vibe and horns just gets me). Doug's voice and the guitar on the beginning of "Good Enough" is heart melting, "Born To Lead" is the song to blast when you're angry at your boss, and of course, an epic last song that Hooba always have on their album, "More Than A Memory". The guitar and the spanish theme blended with Doug's voice asking for forgiveness are very cheesy, but it's every girl's guilty pleasure song.