American Candy is much brighter and poppier than its predecessor in Forever Halloween. In fact, this album is so sweet it’ll rot your teeth! Sorry, bad pun there, but it really is quite sweet.
Not only is the album catchier and more fun, but feels like a return to the indie pop they have done on albums like Pioneer. However, this direction does not make American Candy any less. The lyrics are just as good, but the color and excitement have been turned up. This is the kind of album that needs to be blasted on 10 because it’s just that good.
The album opener, “Miles Away”, not only sets the beat and pace for most of the album. It’s about being out in the sun and being caught up on the “summer high.” Which, being from such a sunny place as Phoenix, this band is very familiar with. It’s also subtly hints at the wanderlust that most of this generation seems to have, with lines like “will never quench your thirst for today / so what do you say we take a trip miles away?” This whole album is about summer fun, but also holds a lot of serious thoughts about our generation.
“My Hair” is another fun track that describes “driving through town without a care.” This song is for exactly what it says, driving with windows open and letting loose. The track ends with “nobody’s going to tell me how to wear my hair”, which is an interesting comment because it has sparks of lead singers arguing about how they can do whatever they want with their hair. Every piece of this song is about maintaining the youth that they all have before they lose that hair. We’re only young for so long.
The opening lines immediately get stuck in your head and as lead single “English Girls” has the hooks to make you want to scream out every word at the top of your lungs. This track, along with many others, will transition very nicely live. O’Callaghan does what he does best: tells a story that you can picture. The audience is listening and painting a picture in their heads as he describes sitting on a bar stool in London and watching a girl get picked up by a guy. It’s one of the very quotable songs on this album.
Despite all of the happy, poppy songs, “24 floors” goes back to the darker topics from The Maine. This slow, acoustic song talks about someone on the edge of a 24 floor building, looking down, ready to jump (“24 floors, up in some hotel room feeling so low”). Despite the dark topic, there is optimism towards the end as John O’Callaghan sings about “taking one more breath to clear your mind” and looking forward to the positives of tomorrow. It sounds like John and the rest of the band are truly telling you a story. This song is slightly self-deprecating, but has a touch of optimism for fans looking for help.
“Another Night On Mars” is a perfect way to end the album. It is about good times and memories you may or may not remember. The chorus is catchy, with the beat and the relatable lyrics about finding a niche group of friends and feeling comfortable with them and “slightly less alien.” This is one of my personal favorites, because college kids really have those kind of experiences. This song is a strong expression of weird adventures, and could transition very nicely live in theaters or even clubs due to its repetition.
American Candy is a must listen, and comes out before the American Candy Tour with Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and The Technicolors. The album is now available on iTunes. Do you fancy American Candy?
By: Meaghan D’Amico