I love Hanson, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I think that, of all their albums, "This Time Around" stands as my favorite, because of its relevance to my own feelings when it dropped, right when I entered high school. The songs on here are well written, spunky, piano-driven goodness, but also display an emotional depth rare, period, let alone in teenage boys. The album's significance in my own life can never be underestimated, but there is a fundamental joy that drives everything that Hanson does, evident in this and all their albums, and I will defend their integrity to the finish. Give this album a listen, and you'll be surprised at the lyrical depth and musical complexity that represents a very real step up from their (teen-pop classic, mind you) debut "Middle of Nowhere."
I thought this was a good year for music, and I appreciate the return to a sort of folksy sound that runs through several of the tracks on this album. Lady GaGa miraculously managed to come out with an even better single ("Telephone") despite very dangerously risking overexposure, and "Forget You" is such a perfect, ironic tribute to classic Motown that it sounds like it could have been recorded by Barry Gordy himself. Altogether a great album representing a banner year.
I was really stoked to get my hands on this album, as Perry clearly has a knack for writing killer hooks and catchy singles, but I was ultimately disappointed by the songs that didn't make it to radio (for good reason, in my opinion). I love Perry's fast paced odes to the nightlife, but I'm not quite sure she can *quite* convincingly carry a ballad. The album is certainly worth a listen for the singles alone, but I'd be leery of expecting much more beyond that. I do believe "Teenage Dream" is a bit better and less fickle, FWIW.
I'm so glad Ann Arbor/Ypsi reads chose this book, and even though I didn't make it to any of the events, I did see this book displayed in the downtown branch in April 2010. I picked it up, and it turned out to be the last book I read before embarking upon a 3-month stay in a foreign county. As someone who has lived almost all of my life in the shadow of Lake Michigan (well, okay, maybe just most of it by this point), it was wonderful to get a firm sense of home before leaving for such a long time.
It certainly didn't hurt that the book was so clearly a labor of love, either. I felt that Jerry Dennis did a very good job blending history, sailing know-how, and environmentalism into a compelling narrative. I do believe that I was naturally inclined to look upon the book more favorably given my personal situation at the time of reading it, but it was a bit like chicken soup, and there's nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of that sometime, is there? Recommended for lovers of the Great Lakes.
If you were a kid who grew up with access to PBS, you should run to AADL to grab this CD right away. I hope to see you singing along in your car on the way home; seriously, it's astounding to come to a CD like this and to really conceptualize how deeply and thoroughly a show like Sesame Street actually impacted you. Don't be surprised if all of the words magically come back! This is a great compilation to get you started back down memory lane, or to share with a child just beginning their exposure to the miracle that is the Muppets and, you know, some learning too.
"A" is for awesome, that's this CD for me.