The three Hanson boys (including 11-year old drummer Zac), sons of oil
financier Walker Hanson, raised in TUlsa (Oklahoma), were catapulted to fame as the "next big thing" of
teen pop, the genre that is based on vocal harmonies
(lead vocals of 13-year old Taylor Hanson, the middle brother) and catchy hooks.
Like the Beatles, they are tv-friendly.
Like the Beatles, they are clearly inspired by the teen idols of the 1950s.
Like the Beatles, they all sing (gorgeously) and play (badly).
Like the Beatles, their music is as generic and derivative as it can be.
But the single that established them outdid the Beatles at their own game:
MMM-Bop is top-quality bubblegum of the Monkees and Motown era.
Even if produced by the Dust Brothers and scored by veterans of the Brill
Building, the other tracks on Middle Of Nowhere (Mercury, 1997)
do not fare well (Where's The Love); but the ballad
Weird broke a few hearts of alienated teenagers.
3 Car Garage (Mercury, 1998) collects early home recordings.
This Time Around (Mercury, 2000) is as original as Michael Jackson
albums were: Runaway Run replays the bubblegum of
MMM-Bop, Save Me replays the romanticism of Weird.
Not particularly more convincing than the previous ones,
Underneath (3CG, 2004) boasts the single Penny & Me,
Matthew Sweet's ballad Underneath and the
lively Lost Without Each Other.
The Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha, Fountains Of Wayne's bassist Adam Schlesinger, Cheap Trick's drummer Bun Carlos, the Hanson brothers' vocalist Taylor Hanson formed the supergroup Tinted Windows that debuted with the mediocre power-pop of Tinted Windows (S-Curve, 2009).
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