July 11, 2013
by Tan Kee Yun
The year was 1997 and Hanson-mania had officially hit wide-eyed kids everywhere.
Blond, handsome and incredibly talented, the three young brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma – guitarist Isaac Hanson, 16, frontman Taylor, 14, and drummer Zachary, 11 – changed the face of pop-rock with the release of their Motown-inspired major-label debut effort, Middle of Nowhere.
The studio album was a runaway success.
Not only did it sell well and snag three Grammy nominations for the trio, it turned Hanson overnight into the biggest-ever teenybopper sensation to capture our hearts.
Every track on the record was a winner, from the highly-infectious lead single MMMBop and fun, upbeat Where’s The Love to the uber-emo ballad I Will Come To You.
As a slightly rebellious 14-year-old girl then, there was no way I could resist their charms.
I fantasised what it was like to date Taylor (my favourite) and go on tour with the band. Of course, I also have a copy of Middle of Nowhere on cassette tape. Today, it remains one of my prized possessions.
It’s a pity that the boys couldn’t quite follow up that mega success with their subsequent albums.
But after a string of lacklustre, forgettable flops – Underneath (2004), The Walk (2007) and Shout It Out (2010) – their latest offering Anthem, released last month, looks set to propel them to the top of the charts.
On Anthem, their classic 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll influences have never been more obvious, especially on bubbly, punchy songs such as Fired Up, I’ve Got Soul and Get The Girl Back.
Two decades into the business, Hanson have transformed from boys to men – Isaac is 32, Taylor is 30 and Zachary, 27 – and have finally found their groove again.
“A lot of the music was really written thinking about the crowd participation… It’s certainly designed for the whole audience to scream back at you,” explained Zachary in an interview with pop culture site JustJared.com.
Perhaps, the magic of Hanson’s tunes lie in their timelessness.
In a separate interview with OK Magazine, the boys professed they don’t follow current music trends.
“We’ve always been a band that’s kind of out of time,” said Zachary.
Added Taylor: “If you write a great melody, then it doesn’t depend on production and it doesn’t depend on some kitschy thing that you did.”
Off stage, these happily-married doting dads – the brothers have nine children among them aged one to 11 – recently joined the likes of Iron Maiden, Kiss and Elbow by releasing their own craft beer, aptly named MMMHops.
As for me, I still love Hanson to bits, but I’ve grown up too – I can’t wait to take my son to their concert, should they decide to play here someday.
Source: Asia One Showbiz