When talking to people about Hanson, I often used to say, “if only they could see them as more than the boys who sang ‘Mmmbop.’” But, as I’ve grown, and continued to listen, I’ve changed that statement to, “if only they could hear ‘Mmmbop’ for what it truly was and is.” A chillingly accurate story of life managed to somehow be told better by a group of children than most of us as adults could muster up to explain. Simple, but profound.
“You have so many relationships in this life, only one or two will last, you go through all the pain and strife, turn your back and they’re gone so fast. So hold on to the ones who really care, in the end they’ll be the only ones there…” -Mmmbop
How often do we struggle with holding on, and letting go? Relationships in various forms are the strike up of so much conflict and discussion in our adult lives. We overanalyze, over discuss, over complicate scenarios that could so easily be solved with that one statement.
Yet, “those girls that sang Mmmbop” have continued to be criticized twenty-five years down the road. Just another talent less boy band. But, by gracious are so many people missing out on phenomenal music.
In trying to form a way to put it into words how Hanson has continually had an impact on my life, from age 9 to 31, the best I can come up with is that they have kind of been a “self-help” book on relationships. Hear me out. It’s not uncommon for people to get divorced, right? Though there is a sea of reasons, a common one seems to be that people “get bored.” They outgrow each other. One spouse becomes boring and never changes, or the other one changes too much, leaving you wondering why you ever fell in love to begin with. Right? So there has to be balance. A knowledge of when to change things up, but, also knowing when to circle back around and remember where you started.
In following the evolution of Hanson, there’s been so many different outlets. A genre is almost nonexistent, because each album has its own distinct sound. But, there is always that little thread that pulls you in, that makes you say, “oh yes, that’s Hanson.” But, with a little spice when necessary, and a little sugar to keep things sweet.
Yet, there is always that circling back. That moment of, “let me remind her why she fell in love with me” moment. But, in true Hanson style, with a twist.
That twist…the newest record. String Theory.
With this record, the guys basically give us something old and something new…but at the same time. The songs that made us fall in love, like “Mmmbop,” “Where’s the Love,” and “This Time Around” are re-invented, all with a symphony orchestra backing them. But, not to leave us hanging, there are also some brand new tunes to raise our spirits.
“Siren Call” hints that the end is nowhere near for Hanson, even with the struggles that holding a 25 year music career can bring…
“Who’s gonna fight the tide? I’m gonna hold the line. If this is the last dance, me, I’d rather take chances before the music stops…” – Siren Call
For me, it will never stop. Hanson has so strongly taken me through the highest and lowest points in my life. With lyrical brilliance, resilience, and pride. Pride in taking risks, and creating art that can take us all on a journey.
I’ve said all of this to lead up to this statement….
Go buy Hanson: String Theory.
If you’re a lifelong fan, I know it’s already in rotation, and I hope hearing these songs differently reminds you, as it has me, of why I fell in love with this band. And for those of you who have yet to discover the music, I simply ask you to give it a try. Have an open mind. Fall in love for the first time.