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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BOYS TO MEN
I find it interesting that several other less than glowing reviews mention that the writer is a long-time fan of Hanson. Well, I was never really a fan, although I certainly recognized their talent as well as the fact that even as kids they were a cut above your average "boy-band" if only for the fact that they played their own instruments (quite well) and wrote their...
Published on March 6, 2007 by Guitar Man

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual Hanson...
I guess the boys decided to switch gears. I don't think they necessarily should have stuck to their previous pop, radio friendly format, but this album just doesn't do it for me. I actually spent the $25 for the import because I couldn't wait for the U.S. release and really wish I hadn't. I gave it three stars because I have to give Taylor, Isaac and Zac props for always...
Published on May 30, 2007 by MRose


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BOYS TO MEN, March 6, 2007
By 
Guitar Man (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Walk (Audio CD)
I find it interesting that several other less than glowing reviews mention that the writer is a long-time fan of Hanson. Well, I was never really a fan, although I certainly recognized their talent as well as the fact that even as kids they were a cut above your average "boy-band" if only for the fact that they played their own instruments (quite well) and wrote their own songs. Nonetheless, I am more of a fan of Indie-rock and bands like Radiohead, Field Music, Get Up Kids etc. A couple of years after the release of Hanson's last album, "Underneath", I became more interested in the group when I found about their middle finger to the music industry independent release of "Underneath" and their subsequent lectures and surprise gigs at colleges around the country. When I finally heard "Underneath", I was impressed with the maturity of the songs and the rapid pace of the Hanson brothers growth as writers and musicians. Speaking as someone who was not particularly a fan of this band, I must say that "The Walk" shows growth leaps and bounds beyond "Underneath".

Right from the opening track, the funky and muscular "Great Divide", these guys are out to prove once and for all that they are no longer your sister's Hanson. With an eye on a bigger picture, "Great Divide" gives us lines such as "When every eye is on the fortune - It can only breed contempt - I find hope in what eyes don't see - I find hope in your hate for me". So much for MMMBop. In fact, themes of life, death, loss and regret crop up in most of the songs. The gospel-tinged, People Get Ready influenced "Been There Before", presents a slice-of-life look at a small southern town and the role music plays in the lives of the many generations of it's residents. The wistful "Georgia", driven by a superlative arpeggioed piano riff and an upbeat yet heart-wrenching melody, the kind of which Brian Wilson is famous for, could possibly be the best song the brothers have ever written and is almost definitely Taylor Hanson's finest vocal moment to date. Another winning Taylor Hanson vocal crops up in the country-tinged "One More", which also features excellent, tasteful brushed drumming by Zac Hanson and a fine Edge-like guitar solo by Isaac Hanson. The epic "Your Illusion" may be, at first, a bit too dark with it's opening line of "You say you want to kill yourself", however, the winning melody, more excellent guitar work by Isaac and superlative vocal work by Taylor, as well as an amazing harmony drenched, minor key tag at the end, more than makes up for that first awkward line.

The most noteworthy aspect of "The Walk" is the emergence of Zac Hanson as a songwriter and vocalist to be reckoned with. In fact, his songs (4 on the U.S. & European release and 6 on the Japanese release) consistently drift the furthest away from the Hanson sound and offer the most surprises on the CD both musically and lyrically starting with the ridiculously catchy, electric piano driven slice of 70's pop "Running Man". Zac immediately follows that up with the heart wrenching breakup song "Go". Displaying mature beyond his 21 years lyrics, he offers lines such as "I heard your moving van - But I didn't take a stand - You can't leave with them - You can't live without them" and makes you wonder if he's referring to the protagonist's children, material possessions or both. Either way, it's an impressive lyric for someone his age who's never been through a divorce and doesn't even have children. Zac completes the trifecta with the next song - the acoustic guitar driven "Fire On The Mountain"- furiously spitting out lines such as- `If we don't seek the knowledge to be greater men -When the rain starts falling we're gonna drown before we get our feet wet- Live, learn, life, love, die, dust, gone' - that leave no doubt he means business. Zac's funky "Tearing It Down", featuring some great Taylor Hanson clavinet playing, probably could have done without the silly "ni, ni, ni" vocal break, but it's still a catchy, fun tune.

The only real mis-step could be Isaac Hanson's lead vocal vehicle "Watch Over Me". This is a song that will probably please longtime Hanson fans as it is the one song that most closely resembles the classic Hanson style of years past, however, in the midst of all the other more complex songs on "The Walk", it seems strangely out of place. Clocking in at almost five minutes, "Watch Over Me" is also way too long for such a simple song. Luckily, Isaac makes up for the latter with his all-time finest vocal moment in his gritty duet with Taylor on the driving, energetic "Something Going `Round".

Another quibble is the fact that the Oasis-like "In A Way" as well as the catchy, conga and piano driven "I Am", two of Zac's best songs, are relegated to bonus track status on the Japanese release and will not appear on any other versions of "The Walk". It's possible that the brothers didn't want to overload the album with Zac songs, but when they are as good as the songs he's written for this album, what does it matter? A good idea might have been to include "In A Way" and "I Am" in place of "Watch Over Me" and perhaps "Blue Sky", which contains the most clichéd lyric on the album.

Otherwise, "The Walk" displays remarkable growth both musically and lyrically and shows the Hanson brothers becoming more confident in their musicianship as well. Hopefully this album can overcome the prejudices of non-Hanson fans who insist on pigeonholing Hanson as simply the kids who did "MMBop"as well as overcoming the prejudices of longtime Hanson fans who don't like the idea that the band's sound is evolving into something new. If Hanson can persevere through all of this, "The Walk" will find the wide audience it deserves and will achieve recognition as one of the finest albums released so far in 2007.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good, July 23, 2007
This review is from: Walk (Audio CD)
I bought the actual album while in the UK...

OK, I'll be the first to admit that I was not a fan of Hanson in their "mmmbopp stage". However, they have now matured to a band that writes and plays not what other people want, but what they feel is right for them. I didn't know they were around any more until I saw their Great Divide music video on the tv. As I watched that video I had no idea who the band was, but I certainly had to find out. Much to my great surprise it was Hanson. I went back and bought their previous album Underneath and it was good, I liked most of the tracks.

Then when this album came out I had to check it out. Up to the release I downloaded the podcast from iTunes and watched their Underneath podcast which exposes the American Music Industry and the corruption that money has done. Then they had a podcast for The Walk which featured the making of just about every track. I kid you not, by watching this podcast I had a greater appreciation for all bands that wrote and played their own music.

Now about The Walk. This is an absolutely great album that I think a lot of people would like if they didn't know it was by Hanson. As a band they have such a negative stigma in America and if you liked them as a kid, well, you just didn't let anyone know. This album is completely different. I played some of the tracks for friends without telling them the artist and they loved it. When I told them it was Hanson they were blown away. I can listen to this album without skipping over any tracks.

**Great Divide** - Has a gospel feel to it without going too far. They incorporate the rock nicely with the guitar and drum beats that really pull everything together.

**Been There Before** - This is honestly my favorite track, it has an infectious beat that gets everyone moving their heads. Really great melodies and interesting lyrics.

**Georgia** - A typical track of sorts, but has an upbeat tempo that keeps you entertained.

**Watch Over Me** - This is just a great track lyrically. "She waits and takes her place in line, never bothers asking why. The mirror sheds no light at all. The days turn into lesser days until there's only night and light wouldn't help... she's too far gone." It is a song that everyone can relate to, everyone knows someone like that. A person that is stuck in a rut and daily seems to be going in the same direction. It would be a sad song, but Isaac has that gruff voice that strains in the high notes and makes into a bit of an alternative track.

**Running Man** - A "party track" as it says in the first couple seconds. Totally upbeat, not totally rock, but the vocals are excellent.

**Go** - Ok, there is a music video out about this one so I'll let you form your own opinion... YouTube it.

**Fire On the Mountain** - Powerful message and it isn't hidden, they put it out there and if you have any background in the subject you'll get it.... "We sit secure in time-honored traditions made. Never wondering where or when the Sickle may come. If we don't seek our knowledge to be greater men. When the rain Starts falling gonna drown before we get our feet wet."

**One More** - The piano ties holds this track together. A bit slower than most of the other tracks, except Go. However, it isn't that horribly slow mushy track. This one also has a great message.

**Blue Sky** - Comes in nicely after a slower track and is upbeat with a bit of the African choir that can be heard in Great Divide.

**Tearing It Down** - While Blue Sky had almost a painful note in the vocals this track is a bit more smooth. However, the track doesn't stop - you can always hear the drums and the guitar through everything.

**Something Goin' Round** -"Are you falling asleep at the wheel? Maybe there's a feeling you've been pushing off." ... "I've got this something that's been going round, you don't know it, but you need it now" I've said this about a few other tracks, but when you listen to this album in it's entirety you either get the underlying message 'cause you know it or "you don't know it, but you need it"... Great track, definitely upbeat.

**Your Illusion** - A slower track that somewhat tugs at the heart strings if you or someone you've known has been in the situation. It's about someone "wasting life" and wanting to commit suicide and "placing their blame on everyone else."

**The Walk** - The lyrics sum up the entire album. A bit slower track, mostly just vocals and a piano.

Great album altogether. I didn't put the lyrics to all the tracks because you can look them up. If you own the album already or are thinking about getting it look up the lyrics so you know what you're listening to. There is an underlying religious theme to this album. It doesn't come out and beat it over your head. As a matter of fact, you won't notice it unless you have a background in the church and to take it a step further - a deep background in Biblical passages. They don't come out and say anything or try to convert anyone, they're just writing about life, a life that everyone knows and lives. Does this take away from the album? Not at all, secular and non-secular alike are going to love this album...
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Have Hope..., May 4, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Walk (Audio CD)
From the first few moments of quiet chanting featuring a South African children's choir to the last fading notes of a power ballad, this album has its claws in you with no intention of retracting. Hanson has once again proved that you don't need a financially stable yet talent inhibiting label behind you to put out an amazing record. "The Walk" showcases the diversified thoughts and ideals of the band, bringing together perfectly a blend of hard hitting rock, R&B, soul, gospel and even dance.

I'd like to talk a little bit about each track (the last two songs with a (*) are only available on the import - which I might add, they absolutely make the album worthy to buy.)

Starting out, we've got the Intro - A short clip of a South African children's choir chanting "Ngi Ne Themba" ("I Have Hope"), which Hanson met while they visiting South Africa for an AIDS cause. The children's voices lead us up to what I honestly believe is the most powerful rock song Hanson has ever recorded.

The Great Divide - Starting out with precise electric guitar, then a steady beat of snare... Then BAM! Those piano runs hit you, and they hit you hard. Everything musically, lyrically and spiritually come together to create this four minute slap in the face about getting up and making something, anything, happen.

"When every eye is on the fortune, it can only breed content, they say blood is thicker than oceans, still we box our brothers in. I find hope and it gives me rest, I find hope in a beating chest, I find hope in what eyes don't see, I find hope in your hate for me, have no fear when the waters rise, we can conquer this great divide."

Been There Before - You don't even get a beat of rest from Great Divide, before Taylor's sweet, bluesy voice fills your ears. Also joining the band on this song is a gospel choir, going above and beyond to complement this song enough without being overpowering. This song is slow and relaxing and vocally stunning.

"Well the man in black sits on a screened in porch, making birthday wishes, seventy-one almost. You can hear him singing, chariot swing low, on the block I live on, in the place I know. Won't you tell me does it, move you? Does it soothe you? Does it fill your heart and soul with the roots of rock and roll?"

Georgia - If the first few bars of piano don't hook you in, I don't know what will. I love that the verses are slow and soothing, but as soon as the chorus hits, you wish you were at a concert jumping up and down (or at least rocking your head back and forth ;))

"Georgia, you know that you've been on my mind. Georgia, we've both learned to compromise. I'll be there for you, when everybody's coming unglued. I'll be there for you; I won't say you have to choose. `Cause I don't want to let you go, and I don't want to lose you slowly. I just want to let you know, that it's only just a little back and forth lately..."

Watch Over Me - How sad was this girl when she found out only ONE Isaac vocal lead? Mucho. But I got over it when I heard this song. Although my favorite "Ike-vocal" songs are usually the raspy, edgy rock songs (Like "Hand In Hand", "Ain't No Sunshine" & "Rip It Up" - Ya know, those ones that have girls throwing their panties on the stage.) But the boy does know how to croon a ballad as well. I love the quiet desperation of this song - the torment of the words come off perfectly with the soft pain of his voice - and who here hasn't ever felt like they were lost and constantly repeating the same mistakes.

"I watch her slowly make her way, down all the roads she shouldn't take; she always ends where she begins. The years go by, they're adding up. She clicks her heels but she's still stuck. She's giving in but won't give up, she'll never stop. And she says please, and she says please, and she says please, watch over me. And she says please, and she is, on her knees and she begs and she pleads."

Running Man - AKA "Party Track" - Our first Zac lead vocal of the evening (oh and there are plenty more.) I love x 10 this song. When I first got this album, this song was the most played for several days. I couldn't get enough of it. Its rock. Its fun (and funny!) Now who doesn't enjoy doing a modified version of the "running man" while driving to work... You can't NOT do it. This song in a nutshell is: Boy wants girl. Girl with another boy. Boy sad. Boy runs away. This song is definitely a crowd favorite.

"Waiting up all night, there's something on my mind; I need to tell you why (whoa-oh-oh.) He's playing you for a fool, he's fooling `round on you, and I just lost my cool, feeling so sad. Too bad for the running man, cause he waits too long so he can't come back again. Too bad for the running man, cause I'm right here waiting to make that girl forget. Too bad for the running man, goodbye."

Go - This is by far one of my favorite tracks on the album. For those who are fans of the artist Bleu, you may have heard this track already. He sang it on tour than actually recorded it on his own album - that's how much it rocks. The music is haunting and the lyrics are just phenomenal. Its no wonder they chose this song as the first international release (the video for it however... well let's just not go there.) Zac again showcases his vocal talent, making anyone in the near vicinity stop what they're doing and pay attention. I would seriously love nothing more that to post the entire song here, but I'll try to cut it down.

"For all the love we've made, just one thing stays the same, the lamp gets dusty, the pipes get rusty, but I don't want to wash my hands clean. You say you love me too, then why won't you go through, with the nightly kisses, with the hits and the misses, if you can make it on your own then ... Go, if you wanna go, but stay, if you wanna know the way, through the mess we've made, and lie in a bed you know, or go."

Fire On The Mountain - This musically simple but vocally poignant (and slightly political) song is a must listen. Zac takes us on a little journey on the elemental basics of life. If you couldn't understand what the verses were about, he pretty much slaps you in the face with it after the first "chorus." (You'll understand the quotes when you listen to the song.) Slap: "Live. Learn. Life. Love. Die. Dust. Gone." Couldn't have said it better myself. Bravo.

"We sit secure in time-honored traditions made, never wondering where or when the sickle may come, if we don't seek our knowledge to be greater men, when the rain starts falling gonna drown before we get our feet wet. We build our ivory towers to protect us from the flood, a fleet of vessels made of wood so they won't rust, but can we see the bottom of the bottle when we start to drink, there's fire on the mountain, fire and it's coming our way."

One More - To be brutally honest, this song took a little while to grow on me. I thought the music was beautiful but I wasn't feeling the lyrics. But I listened to it several times, and then heard it live, and now I adore it. I think I enjoy singing the song more than anything - it tests me vocally as there are a lot of different ranges. Taylor's voice is down right eerie on this track as it switches from quiet depression to finally snapping and screaming at "her" for leaving, for not understanding, for anything - just to make himself feel ... something.

"I sit here by myself, just staring into space, I thought I knew you well, but who can ever say. It seems I've spent so long I can't define my right from wrong.... Cause nothing's over till it's over, and if it's over I don't want to hear it, look into my eyes I told her, holding onto what is gone won't heal it."

Blue Sky - I hope you caught the cute intro to this song that was tagged onto the end of One More. This is by far my favorite Taylor vocal song on the entire album. Another pure rock song that is just as much fun to dance to as it is to sing. The beginning drum beats immediately set the tone and guitar riffs throughout the whole song keep it going.

"I'm blind with eyes wide open, my body's tired and broken, I want a taste of something that doesn't leave me dry. This hope for answered questions, as rare as true conviction, I stare into the distance, there is no truth in sight, who can tell me why... I've seen the main attraction, I've felt the moment's passion, I won't be no soap box teacher, just taking your time, just taking your time, who can tell me why."

Tearing It Down - Another fun rocker leaded by Zac, completed with those fun "ni ni ni"s we love so dearly. A little redundant near the end, but hey, it's forgivable after hearing Zac belt out "this is what I'm gonna doooooooooooo" with that awesome accompanying guitar. Right on. Stomps foot. Claps. Stomps foot. Claps.

"There's a fine line, you walk everyday, `cause somebody told you to. A white lie, that you can't erase, now you're gonna have to choose. You know a blind man, won't show the way, but he can tell you what its coming to."

Something Going Round - Fantastic rock song with lead vocals alternating between Taylor and Isaac, whom finally make use of that raw vocal power we love so much. I've always thought that Hanson's greatest instruments were their voices - and this song is just another great example of perfect rock and harmonizing.

"Are you hungry? Won't you come get your fill. We'd get this thing in motion, if you stop acting tough. Superstar you sit up high on your hill. Well I know why you're running, only you know what you've lost. I've got this something that's been going `round, I've got this something, you don't know it, but you need it."

Your Illusion - There is so much history with this song. Fans started hearing about it back in 2000 when they were recording, "This Time Around." It never made it on the album - which is actually a good thing because I think it fits better with this album. This is such a haunting song (both musically and vocally) that it's hard not to get wrapped up in it (which of course, is sorta the message of the song.) Allowing yourself to become so consumed in the image or ideal of something that it nearly swallows you whole. Of course, that's just my take on it - I truly believe anyone can listen to it and pull what they want from it. After you're done arching your eyebrows at the first line, snuggle into your headphones and really listen to it.

"Don't disguise your emptiness, by placing blame on me and everyone else. Protected by your safety nets, but you can't put the heart of your fears at rest. All I feel is deep regret, for what you have become. You've got me wrapped up in your illusion, I keep on trying to clear the confusion, but you've got me wrapped up in your illusion, I keep on dying, cause you're busy wasting life."

The Walk - The title track and most definitely a fan favorite. This song took everyone by surprise at the shows because this was the first time we heard Zac sing... something emotional? Gone was the little kid singing about underwear-clad aliens and here was this young man singing about taking a step into the big unknown. His voice is comforting and sweet one moment, then in the next breath it's forceful and demanding. The piano, as always, is gorgeous and fitting, going from smooth to pounding in a heartbeat. I tip my hat to you, son. And of course, the harmonizing on the word "fear" in and of itself makes this song worthy of a bow.

"Everyone waits on the walk, some are long and some small, but all of them tall. And everyone must make a choice. Will I go for it all, possibly fall? The tightrope is thin, I could possibly win, on the walk. Well high on the walk, the tightrope it bends, and nobody knows where it ends. To win or to lose, you're all on your own, `cause everyone must be alone. On the tightrope, everything's bare, all that there is, is from here to there. On the tightrope, the goal is quiet clear, don't lose yourself in your fear."

In A Way (Japan Bonus Track) - I am literally sitting here trying to sum up how I feel about this song. Not only is it one of my favorites on the album, but it very quickly became one of my favorites off of ANY album. The opening riffs of guitar and piano chords set the tone for this story-time classic. Although, its probably not a story you'll read to your kids. Zac starts the story out by telling us about a troubled woman and her desire to leave this earthly world behind. We then learn that there's also a child involved who has to deal with a practically non-existent mother. Finally letting that sink into our brain, we're then smacked with the greatest twist of all... and oh, its glorious.

I'm not going to share any lyrics from the verses because I truly believe you need to listen to this song from start to finish to get the full impact... So I'll just give a little snippet from the bridge.

"Love is only what you give up, life isn't what you get, love won't always fill your cup, but life's when you start to live, life's when you learn to give."

I Am (Japan Bonus Track) - A sweet song about the world we're living in now... The situations we're either forced, or choose willingly, to live in. The first line of the chorus is, "I am father and son" and I always found that ironically cute. Here's Zac singing lead, yet he's the only one of the brothers who has yet to reproduce (that we're aware of - he is a sneaky little bugger...) But of course, that's the greatest part about telling a story - it doesn't need to apply to you. Protagonist, say what?

"Gone astray, we find ourselves, right on the edge, of falling apart. Don't you see, it's in our ways, when something's done wrong, we just go along. It lights a fire, inside of me, just show me when, this living stops. I am father and son, I am all that I fear, I could choose to give up, we could tear the world apart. All on my own, I'm trying, to change how you see and what you believe. To fight fire with fire and live eye for eye, we'll all end up blind and burning."

So thus concludes my lengthy and overly boring review of Hanson's new album, "The Walk." If this album is an indication of where Hanson is heading (hey, wasn't that a tagline when they first came out in 1997 "Hanson... where music is headed...") then I can't wait to see where they go from here.

-AJ-

References:

The Walk Underneath This Time Around Middle of Nowhere
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Returning to form, December 28, 2007
This review is from: Walk (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Hanson for as long as I can remember, even back in 1997 during the "MMMBop" days (but I didn't mention it to anyone; sorry, but there are certain things that a sixteen-year-old black guy has to keep from his friends to avoid getting beaten up). And the brothers are unfortunately another one of those bands that want to take their career in a different direction than their original label does, which results in going the indie route. I didn't like their first independent album Underneath very much, but thankfully things work out much better on The Walk.

Now that Isaac, Taylor and Zac are all over twenty and married with children, that might account for why their songs have more of an adult contemporary vibe than what was found on previous efforts. But one thing that's surprising about this album is that Zac actually does much of the lead singing on here, like on the title track as well as the three-in-a-row of "Running Man", "Go" and "Fire on the Mountain", and even though I heard him singing on "Misery" off their previous album, he sounds even better here. Isaac also impresses when he handles lead vocals on "Watch Over Me".

But Taylor still helps with his usual vocals, as evidenced by highlights like "Georgia", "Been There Before" and "Something Going Round". There are also some acoustic bonus tracks that suit me well, like "I've Been Down" and "Got a Hold on Me" (although the second acoustic version of "Something Going Round" is a little unnecessary). While Hanson might not be enjoying the record-breaking sales they used to enjoy, you should still consider walking over to pick up this album.

Anthony Rupert
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hanson's best to date; an amazing indie release, July 30, 2007
By 
This review is from: Walk (Audio CD)
Having been a Hanson fan since the beginning, I have anticipated every new album anxiously. Not one has disappointed me, but The Walk blew me out of the water. Now that Hanson has put aside the whole Island/Def Jam fiasco, they've really begun to live up to their potential, especially as an indie band. To me, this is leaps and bounds from Underneath. While I loved Underneath, this album takes all the good from Underneath and expands on it with a completely fresh sound.

The Walk is bluesy pop rock at its best. On my first listen, I was surprised to hear Zac sing lead on so many songs, but his voice has matured and fits perfectly with the album. Running Man is not only fun and catchy, but it has a bit of an Electric Light Orchestra feel to it. Although In a Way is only available as a bonus track on the CD released in Japan, it quickly became one of my favorite Hanson songs; the beat, the vocals, the lyrics, it all came together perfectly and I'm surprised it didn't make the actual album.

Taylor graces us with Georgia, a sweeping, beautiful piano laced song that caught me on the first chord and still hasn't let me go. I would have picked it as a first single, but perhaps its better that way. Another highlight is Blue Sky, which sounds terrific with Taylor's somewhat raspy vocals. While Isaac only takes the lead on one song, Watch Over Me, he also shares the lead with Taylor on Something Going Round, which has a bit more of a rock edge and would be a great song to jam along to live.

The Walk really showcases Hanson's new found maturity. This album hasn't left my CD player since I put it in. There are songs like Tearin It Down and Georgia that are so catchy that I can't help but to roll all my windows down and sing my heart out. Then there are songs like The Walk, The Great Divide and Fire on the Mountain that really let the band show us just how far they have evolved.

I hope that this album finally gives Hanson the respect that they deserve. Mmmbop is long in the past and we've begun a new Hanson era. I will always look forward to new Hanson releases - they've developed into a truly amazing band.

This album is truly what independent music is all about.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing indie release; Hanson's best to date, March 5, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Walk (Audio CD)
Having been a Hanson fan since the beginning, I have anticipated every new album anxiously. Not one has disappointed me, but The Walk blew me out of the water. Now that Hanson has put aside the whole Island/Def Jam fiasco, they've really begun to live up to their potential. To me, this is leaps and bounds from Underneath. While I loved Underneath, this album takes all the good from Underneath and expands on it with a completely fresh sound.

The Walk is bluesy pop rock at its best. On my first listen, I was surprised to hear Zac sing lead on so many songs, but his voice has matured and fits perfectly with the album. Running Man is not only fun and catchy, but it has a bit of an Electric Light Orchestra feel to it. Although In a Way is only available as a bonus track on the CD released in Japan, it quickly became one of my favorite Hanson songs; the beat, the vocals, the lyrics, it all came together perfectly and I'm surprised it didn't make the actual album.

Taylor graces us with Georgia, a sweeping, beautiful piano laced song that caught me on the first chord and still hasn't let me go. I would have picked it as a first single, but perhaps its better that way. Another highlight is Blue Sky, which sounds terrific with Taylor's somewhat raspy vocals. While Isaac only takes the lead on one song, Watch Over Me, it shines and stands out as one of the best songs on the album.

The Walk really showcases Hanson's new found maturity. This album hasn't left my CD player since I put it in. There are songs like Tearin It Down and Georgia that are so catchy that I can't wait for warmer weather so that I can roll all my windows down and sing my heart out. Then there are songs like The Walk, The Great Divide and Fire on the Mountain that really let the band show us just how far they have evolved.

I hope that this album finally gives Hanson the respect that they deserve. Mmmbop is long in the past and we've begun a new Hanson era. I will always look forward to new Hanson releases - they've developed into a truly amazing band.

This album is what independent music is all about.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY IMPRESSED, March 7, 2007
By 
Tom (Zagreb, Croatia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Walk (Audio CD)
Throughout the time since Underneath - the exceptional clips and small demo-like fragments we've been allowed to hear - have slowly, but surely, made me long for the forthcoming music with vigorous anticipation... and it turned out to be a rare attempt, at least these days, on which the band's reach and grasp are virtually identical. But Hanson have pulled it off.

Having heard The Walk - I can't imagine them still(!) flying under the radar of the music business... It is hard to imagine a more stunning indie debut of pop/rock accomplishment than The Walk.

Hanson's PR releases we have read on the net wrote about the album in question as if it was their own landmark album (as much as Pet Sounds was for Brian Wilson or Rubber Soul for The Beatles) and while that was stretching it a bit, it is certainly not much of an exaggeration within the context of their own accomplishments. It is certainly their finest hour to date and, hopefully, one of the finest pop-rock albums to see release this year...

Much like anything that is really worthy of a music aficionado's attention - this album proves that their talent is fully formed.

Hanson honor their roots more so than on any of their previous albums, and to me at least, that is highly appraisable. They owe a huge debt to their rock roots, both in song construction and melodies as well as in the production of the album. What the album is all about, however, isn't the nods and the references from which it was constructed, but rather how amazingly fresh and dynamic it manages to sound even while sonically (and literally) name-checking those artists.

It isn't as experimental as I hoped it would be, but I trust their instinct that the world isn't ready for that kind of a Hanson record, although I maintain the right to hope that one day we will see them exploring their experimental side a little bit more than playing as safe as this record is. It's not a bad thing, there's much to be enjoyed: ecstatically sophisticated song structures, mature lyrics, beautiful soulfully ragged melodies, sunfried ambience of pop at its best, and the playing that seems laid-back and breezy but never losing its focus.

It is state-of-the-art pop-rock: respectful and ambitious.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than Albums Past!, October 17, 2007
By 
A. Dowdall (Upstate NY, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walk (Audio CD)
I ordered this CD as soon as I heard it was being released. I have been a fan since Hanson's first CD. I remember at the time being surprised at how talented they were for being so young. I never saw them as a "kiddie" or "novelty" group. Only those who knew "MMMBop" as their only song maintain such ignorance. Well, they missed out. I have enjoyed all of their CD's, but I have to say, this is my favorite yet. I love the African choir, the blend of soul, a little blues and pop. I have this in my car and therefore my husband is forced to listen to it. He really likes it and even had me put "Great Divide" and "Blue Sky" on his MP3 player! (also 2 of my favorites). I had the pleasure of seeing Hanson live on September 12th and they are so enjoyable to watch. I love these guys for what they do - doing it well and they way they want! That's how it should be. Thank you Hanson, for an excellent CD! :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably their best CD, March 19, 2008
By 
Renee (Tulsa, Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Walk (Audio CD)
These guys are such a great rock band. This is probably my favorite CD of theirs. I love the social conciousness of this CD, really the awareness of not only the AIDS crisis in Africa, but the global crisis we are involved in and our place in it. Several of the songs also really hit a chord with me, speaking of home and family. (Yay Tulsa!). Oh yeah, besides all that deep stuff, this CD ROCKS. The music itself I would put against any rock band out there, and far above anything you can find on the radio. Can't wait for the next CD, already.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Would Have Thought, July 11, 2007
This review is from: The Walk (Audio CD)
I didn't get the import cd. I bought the actual album while in the UK... So, this is my review minus the Import bonus tracks...

OK, I'll be the first to admit that I was not a fan of Hanson in their "mmmbopp stage". However, they have now matured to a band that writes and plays not what other people want, but what they feel is right for them. I didn't know they were around any more until I saw their Great Divide music video on the tv. As I watched that video I had no idea who the band was, but I certainly had to find out. Much to my great surprise it was Hanson. I went back and bought their previous album Underneath and it was good, I liked most of the tracks.

Then when this album came out I had to check it out. Up to the release I downloaded the podcast from iTunes and watched their Underneath podcast which exposes the American Music Industry and the corruption that money has done. Then they had a podcast for The Walk which featured the making of just about every track. I kid you not, by watching this podcast I had a greater appreciation for all bands that wrote and played their own music.

Now about The Walk. This is an absolutely great album that I think a lot of people would like if they didn't know it was by Hanson. As a band they have such a negative stigma in America and if you liked them as a kid, well, you just didn't let anyone know. This album is completely different. I played some of the tracks for friends without telling them the artist and they loved it. When I told them it was Hanson they were blown away. I can listen to this album without skipping over any tracks.

**Great Divide** - Has a gospel feel to it without going too far. They incorporate the rock nicely with the guitar and drum beats that really pull everything together.

**Been There Before** - This is honestly my favorite track, it has an infectious beat that gets everyone moving their heads. Really great melodies and interesting lyrics.

**Georgia** - A typical track of sorts, but has an upbeat tempo that keeps you entertained.

**Watch Over Me** - This is just a great track lyrically. "She waits and takes her place in line, never bothers asking why. The mirror sheds no light at all. The days turn into lesser days until there's only night and light wouldn't help... she's too far gone." It is a song that everyone can relate to, everyone knows someone like that. A person that is stuck in a rut and daily seems to be going in the same direction. It would be a sad song, but Isaac has that gruff voice that strains in the high notes and makes into a bit of an alternative track.

**Running Man** - A "party track" as it says in the first couple seconds. Totally upbeat, not totally rock, but the vocals are excellent.

**Go** - Ok, there is a music video out about this one so I'll let you form your own opinion... YouTube it.

**Fire On the Mountain** - Powerful message and it isn't hidden, they put it out there and if you have any background in the subject you'll get it.... "We sit secure in time-honored traditions made. Never wondering where or when the Sickle may come. If we don't seek our knowledge to be greater men. When the rain Starts falling gonna drown before we get our feet wet."

**One More** - The piano ties holds this track together. A bit slower than most of the other tracks, except Go. However, it isn't that horribly slow mushy track. This one also has a great message.

**Blue Sky** - Comes in nicely after a slower track and is upbeat with a bit of the African choir that can be heard in Great Divide.

**Tearing It Down** - While Blue Sky had almost a painful note in the vocals this track is a bit more smooth. However, the track doesn't stop - you can always hear the drums and the guitar through everything.

**Something Goin' Round** -"Are you falling asleep at the wheel? Maybe there's a feeling you've been pushing off." ... "I've got this something thats been going round, you don't know it, but you need it now" I've said this about a few other tracks, but when you listen to this album in it's entirety you either get the underlying message 'cause you know it or "you don't know it, but you need it"... Great track, definitely upbeat.

**Your Illusion** - A slower track that somewhat tugs at the heart strings if you or someone you've known has been in the situation. It's about someone "wasting life" and wanting to commit suicide and "placing their blame on everyone else."

**The Walk** - The lyrics sum up the entire album. A bit slower track, mostly just vocals and a piano.

Great album altogether. I didn't put the lyrics to all the tracks because you can look them up. If you own the album already or are thinking about getting it look up the lyrics so you know what you're listening to. There is an underlying religious theme to this album. It doesn't come out and beat it over your head. As a matter of fact, you won't notice it unless you have a background in the chruch and to take it a step further - a deep background in Biblical passages. They don't come out and say anything or try to convert anyone, they're just writing about life, a life that everyone knows and lives. Does this take away from the album? Not at all, secular and non-secular alike are going to love this album...

If you like this album you might want to check out Jonny Lang's "Turn Around"... very upbeat, great vocals, and of course the guitar prodigy doesn't disappoint.
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Walk
Walk by Hanson (Audio CD - 2007)
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