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Hoobastank - For(n)ever Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 4.75
Lyrics 3
Production 9
Creativity 3.25
Lasting Value 2.5
Reviewer Tilt 4
Final Verdict: 49%
Member Ratings
Vocals 2.69
Musicianship 2.56
Lyrics 2.44
Production 2.69
Creativity 2.31
Lasting Value 2.44
Reviewer Tilt 2.69
Average: 25%

Hoobastank - For(n)ever

Reviewed by: Chris Fallon (02/17/09)
Hoobastank - For(n)ever
Record Label: Island/Def Jam
Release Date: January 27, 2009


Let's just get all the jokes out of the way right now:

"Hey, 2001 called, wants their music back."
"More like Poopastink!"
"More like Bore-ever!"
"Hey Chris, you're sexually attractive."

Hoobastank will never be credited with pushing the creative boundaries they set for themselves during the post-grunge/hard rock mayhem in the early millennium, a time when they were picked on for being too similar to Incubus (Both singers are half-Asian! They went to the same high school! Their band names are kind of funky!). They have written a good number of radio hits and despite the lack of success their last album received, it was arguably their best moment. Hoobastank decided to expand their sound ever so slightly, veering off the radio-rock radar in favor of making an album that was - for lack of a better term - progressively poppy (just listen to it after hearing this album -- you'll see what I mean).

Unfortunately, in this day and age, bands that are by-the-numbers, straight-ahead rock have difficulty staying relevant to a wide audience. Hoobastank have opted to stick with a clean sound with a recurring theme of looking back on failed relationships. This requires little to no thought on lyrical content (hint: it's all pretty cliche and flat) and no real imagination or creativity in how the songs are composed. Producer Howard Benson provides a nicely-produced canvas with no means for creative comprehension, which is something this band severely needs to remain relevant in a time when Hoobastank is mentioned as a question -- as in, "Oh, they're still around?"

"My Turn" is typical material you would expect from the band, with heavily-distorted guitars and thickly-produced drums firing rapid segments of nu-metal angst with Doug Robb's screaming/crying out, "When's it gonna be my turn?" The song isn't bad, it just sounds dated. Second single, "So Close, So Far" wants to be "The Reason, Part 2," but reeks of predictability and post-traumatic relationship disorder, Robb slowly crooning out woeful words of regret over a background of reverb. Been there, done that. "Who The Hell Am I" wants to be an introspective rubber-burner, but fizzles quickly; "Tears of Yesterday" (was this stolen from Chris Carrabba's songbook?) starts out with plucked strings over a lush chorus, but contains enough sap to fill an oak tree. Forget the ridiculously superfluous album cover, Robb and guitarist Dan Estrin have gathered up a bevvy of journal entries for lyrics, giving absolutely no depth or coherence to the album's overall definition. They seem more concerned with emotional standards this time around, yet it's just a sad spectacle to behold.

Example: "So I write your name in my breath on the window / Sit and watch as it fades away / The painful memories of the tears of yesterday." Cue sound of popular girls laughing at you from the back of class.

For(n)ever merely sounds stale and consists of no real evidence of a band stepping out beyond some methods they've already tried to great success. Nearly a decade after they scored their first big hit, Hoobastank have taken the direction they previously hinted at and gone back to formula. Still, "All About You" is a full-throttle adrenaline rush & "Sick of Hanging On" is quick enough to keep one's attention (it does have a great amount of energy). Normally, one would expect the album to end with a big, sweeping ballad, but "Gone Gone Gone" is a snazzy track that sort of picks up all the pieces Robb spills over the other ten tracks. It should also be noted that Robb's voice does well between headbangers and slow-dancers -- there just isn't enough momentum to keep this album from being anything memorable; no surprises are left, except maybe the lack of a major radio-ready ballad track.

Trying to keep up with Nickelback and Buckcherry when you're not writing bar anthems about drug-addict girlfriends who keep you on edge is difficult, which is why For(n)ever is particularly disappointing, as the band seemed to be trying out something new last time. To use a football-related metaphor, Hoobastank had a good system going with their original playbook, but over time, we all got familiar with the plays the coach was calling. Now it's time to call some audibles instead of always giving it to your receiver -- run it a little, throw a Hail Mary. For(n)ever was probably not meant to be an ironically-titled album, however, without stretching the creative limits, it may end up as just that.

Recommended if You LikeThe Reason; listening to something you heard six years ago; radio rock that doesn't contain anyone singing about junkie girls or being a cool rock star; nothing new.
Choice Cuts"All About You," "Gone Gone Gone" and "My Turn"


Tracklisting1. My Turn
2. I Don't Think I Love You
3. So Close, So Far
4. All About You
5. The Letter
6. Tears of Yesterday
7. Sick of Hanging On
8. You're The One
9. Who The Hell Am I?
10. You Need To Be Here
11. Gone Gone Gone
Band MembersDoug Robb: vocals/guitar
Dan Estrin: lead guitar
Chris Hesse: drums/percussion


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 55
02:07 AM on 02/17/09
#2
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
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nice post at 2 in the morning / good review
02:14 AM on 02/17/09
#3
Pawan1993
Change isn't the same as progress
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I thought that no one would review this. Anyway Chris you done a good job. Don't wanna listen to it and never will. Liked them at first but they're not Brand New or Thrice as they never change and gets boring everytime you listen to it, unlike some other albums that you can keep listening for atleast 10 listens or maybe five at the least. Oh yeah and who's reviewing the new Morrissey album? Just wanna know how good it is.
02:48 AM on 02/17/09
#4
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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I thought that no one would review this. Anyway Chris you done a good job. Don't wanna listen to it and never will. Liked them at first but they're not Brand New or Thrice as they never change and gets boring everytime you listen to it, unlike some other albums that you can keep listening for atleast 10 listens or maybe five at the least. Oh yeah and who's reviewing the new Morrissey album? Just wanna know how good it is.
Drew will be posting that one sometime today -- also, thank you for the kind words!
04:01 AM on 02/17/09
#5
cereal4life
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Here's one joke that you forgot in your intro, Chris:

"Hoobastank"

Haha Sweet review man! I never was going to check this out and this just further solidified that decision.
06:06 AM on 02/17/09
#6
hockeyguitar99
Prison Strength
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Poopastink is a great one. Never thought of that, I normally go with Hoobastink. Good review.
06:16 AM on 02/17/09
#7
EmotionalJack
JimmyNotJack
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I didn't like Every Man For Himself so I won't check this out
06:38 AM on 02/17/09
#8
batmannj
"No more half measures Walt"
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Good review, I really enjoyed their first few records back in the day. They are not terrible, but certainly not original or memorable.
07:04 AM on 02/17/09
#9
WhoSaidThat?
twitter.com/TiredOfSeth
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Good review. I like how you give them some credit, similar to the way Steve gave RJA credit.

And AWESOME avatar, too, Chris.
07:33 AM on 02/17/09
jawstheme
I'm not here. This isn't happening.
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Hahaha, what a great review.
07:57 AM on 02/17/09
CellarGhosts
cellarghosts.tumblr.com
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Hahaha, good review Chris.
11:08 AM on 02/17/09
Kgod
I disagree!
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Good review, albeit disappointing. Hoobastank is one of my childhood bands, and I wished I liked them now half as much as I did 10 years ago.
12:08 PM on 02/17/09
a speedo model
an enthusiast
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Their last album was terrible, I somewhat enjoyed them before but calling their 3rd their best moment is a joke.
12:14 PM on 02/17/09
kamaka
chicken bones
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good review
12:34 PM on 02/17/09
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Their last album was terrible, I somewhat enjoyed them before but calling their 3rd their best moment is a joke.
Just my opinion -- they took a chance on their last album and I thought it worked better than their first two discs, which were pretty standard radio rock discs. Agree to disagree.
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