That One Thing
One of the best things about a new Hanson CD is reading the liner notes.
Because they are a band Hanson always reference ‘we’ and in so doing immediately underline the sense of community and connection integral to their psyche.
But the over whelming message is always one of gratitude for the mystery in the creative journey and for the recipients of the music, the fans who support them year on year. This thank you never gets old and must surely touch every one who really cares.
In Animal Instincts, their latest member’s EP, Hanson identify something particular as surviving the changes made over 19 years to their Fan club.
“one thing that has never changed is our commitment to share special music and to capture something from us to you that is beyond trend and driven by our own excitement for the craft“
And that excitement moves them from vision through evolution to implementation and ultimately to letting go of the leash.
This year, the package is characterised by music of a more instinctive nature. Maybe with so much going on for Hanson at present – see StringTheory – time pressures made the band rely on their guts and less on any tendency to over think the words and arrangements. Maybe the animal instincts – like the daemons in the Golden Compass – are the souls worn on the sleeves of three men who all do it differently.
If animal instincts are inherent, unlearned behaviours, then listening to Hanson’s latest creation reveals much about their most natural inclinations. Whilst written collaboratively as always, this music holds much for the “ardent observer” to discover about what makes Isaac, Taylor and Zachary tick at the deepest level.
This writer wouldn’t be so bold as to tell you what to discover, but would suggest that there might be new ways to listen and look.
Even within songs and the preferred styles and sounds of each member of the band, there are subtle twists and nuances to hear and feel.
Having said that, there is definitely a wake up call in Animal Instincts.
Each song holds up a mirror to the purpose and integrity of life and love, searching for truth and exposing the lies of opportunism, fear and habit.
These are not unusual themes for Hanson to wrestle with and so the joy is in making new connections between lyrics, melodies, musical genres, references and the images of three men with their canine best friends.
In the liner notes Hanson ask their audience,
“If you take nothing else from this group of songs, please take this small idea about our band – we love great music and we are wowed by the incredible power of unknown inspiration to arrive and lead us to new musical milestones – the love of creation is what drives us”.
And that love of creation is instinctive, just as the love of music is instinctive.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson all learned music from a young age. One might guess that music surrounded them always, but with these five songs there is a call to noticing the inspiration that innately makes sense beyond sense and connects creatively to new ideas and sounds.
And Hanson created this just for you – “the earnest observer and the loyal advocate” who trusts the artist and simply enjoys the journey.
Lead on Hanson, to many more creative, instinctive possibilities.