Growing up is hard to do, particularly if you do it in public. Hanson found this out when their second album, 2000's This Time Around, failed to gather much attention, let alone a hit the size of 1997's "Mmm-Bop," even though it was a solid step forward. Faced with lack of success and therefore a lack of support from their label, Hanson opted for the independent route, founding 3CG and releasing their third proper album, Underneath, in the spring of 2004. If This Time Around found the group undergoing growing pains, Underneath is the maturation of Hanson, scaled down and serious, pitched halfway between the adult alternative pop audience and the power poppers who embraced their giddy early singles. Giddy is hardly a word to describe this album, however, since there's an earnest even-handed approach even on the tunes that veer toward effervescent, hooky pop, such as the catchy "Get Up and Go." This deliberate maturity isn't a detriment, since it emphasizes the pop
ock classicism that's always been at the core of their music; after all, one of the charming things about Middle of Nowhere is how it was clear that the trio's tastes were built on Time/Life's oldies collections. Even though Underneath is a little too polished and Pro Tool-ed, that pop sensibility still rings loud and clear throughout the album, and track for track, it's likely their strongest album, even if it lacks glistening highlights along the lines of "Mmm-Bop." Despite this, the brothers are strong pop songwriters -- there's a reason why the likes of Matthew Sweet and Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals collaborate with them on this record (on "Underneath" and "Lost Without Each Other" respectively) -- and what makes Underneath a better album than This Time Around is that the focus remains on the songs, with the melodies and hooks pushed toward the center. There is a bit of a dichotomy here, as the sound of the record is targeted toward adult alternative airwaves and the trio's writing is closer to power pop, but it's a pleasing dichotomy since the two aesthetics wind up complementing each other. Hanson might be a little bit better off if their production wasn't as rigorously crafted as their songs -- they would be a little more exciting, a little more fun if they loosened up a bit -- but that's a minor complaint, since Underneath is a satisfying album that finds the trio confidentially stepping into adulthood.
|Label:||Three Car Garage|
Performance CreditsHanson Primary Artist
Luis Conte Percussion,Conga,Djembe,Shaker
Gary Grant Horn
Zac Hanson Drums
Abraham Laboriel Bass
Bob McChesney Horn
Patrick Warren chamberlain
Greg Wells Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Accordion,Electric Guitar
Kevin Wyatt Bass
Cameron Stone Cello
Isaac Hanson Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,chamberlain,sleigh bells,Hi String
Taylor Hanson Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Vocals,Clavinet,chamberlain,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Davíd Garza Electric Guitar
Sam Farrar Bass
Michelle Branch Vocals
Zachary Hanson Percussion,Piano,Drums,Vocals
Technical CreditsJoe Chiccarelli Engineer,Engineering
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Zac Hanson Composer
Jerry Hey Horn Arrangements
Danny Kortchmar Producer
Steve Ripley Engineer
Tim Weidner Engineer
Greg Wells Producer
Todd Edwards Art Conception
Hanson Producer,Horn Arrangements,Art Conception
P.R. Brown Art Direction
Isaac Hanson Composer,Engineer
Taylor Hanson Composer,Engineer
Jaime Sickora Engineer
Brian Hearity Engineer
Joe "Bledsoe" Brown Engineer
Zachary Hanson Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After getting the privilage to see them in their Underneath Promotion Tour last August, I have been thrilled to death with their newest cd! After getting to meet them and talk with thim for a very short time, I noticed that these boys love their carrerr and know how much their fans love them. ((carefull of Zac's handshake, he's a hard gripper...lol)) I just wanted to say that Underneath has shown just how much they've matured over the years. I've read other reviews and they always seem to be trying to form hanson's music to sound like all the other pop music out there. Hanson has their own style and their own ways, which is the reason I've stayed true to being a fan for so long. Viva la Hanson! Keep it up boys!
I didn't think they could top their last venture but once again the brothers Hanson proved me wrong.(much to my delight) While this album wasn't as poppy sounding as the last one, I did enjoy the new sound and vocals. The future of music is here now.
Wow, these boys have grown up! I love this album. It's not exactly what I had expected, but it's great and surpassed my expectations. The most I had ever heard of Hanson was "MmmBop", which was cute, but not really mature enough for someone in their 20's to get hooked on. After hearing a few 30 second samples of "This Time Around", I was impressed and amazed at how much Hanson had grown and I bought the CD just recently. I couldn't wait for "Underneath" to be released and was somewhat surprised that their style had changed again. I was caught a little off-guard and had to listen to the album for a few times before getting on board. Even though I usually prefer ballads to faster tracks, Hanson convinces with every song. "PENNY & ME" ROCKS!!! I keep hitting the 'back' button on my CD player for that song. I wish people who smirk when I say that I'm listening to Hanson would give this album a chance. It's nothing like most of the other kiddie pop produced by most singers their age. This is some high-quality rock that has a very unique style. The boys convince in every song; their hearts, souls, and talent are in the words as well as the melodies. I absolutely love the harmonies in the songs, and the boys' very different voices play great off each other. Beware, Zach made me cry with "Broken Angel"! I recommend this album to anyone who is looking for some good rock. Turn up the volume and enjoy!
This CD had GREAT music, and GREAT lyrics. It not only sounded good, but each had a meaning. These guys really grew up from MMMBOP (ba da bu dop.) The instrumentation is great! I don't know how Hanson does it! They've realized that it's not only the rhythm and the tune, but the lyrics are a huge part of a song. It really shows in this CD. What also shows is the time they put into it. Yeah, it took a long time, but it was definitely worth it. You'll really get hooked with Get Up And Go, Lost Without Eachother, and Crazy Beautiful.