Teen idols lose their musical virginity at their own risk. During their ’70s heydays, David Cassidy tried warbling standards and the Osmonds made a concept album about their Mormon beliefs; later; New Kids on the Block became NKOTB and attempted to play that funky music *but as somber white boys). And more of these stabs at maturity were remotely enjoyable as “I Woke Up in Love This Morning,” “Yo-Yo,” and “Step by Step,” respectively.
In light of this history of overinflated ambitions, Hanson fans were understandably concerned when word began filtering out that the Oklahoma sibs were planning to rock out on their next album. The transition wasn’t illogical: After all, Taylor, Ike and Zac can both harmonize and play, they have a deep-seated love of Big Chill R&B and rock, and they most likely want to be remembered as more than the founding brothers of ’90s teen pop. All well and good, but do we want a harder, heavier Hanson?