REVIEW: The Maine releases impactful and emotional new album 'You Are Ok'

Tracks focus on overcoming and enduring

The Maine

DETROIT – The Maine takes a step beyond music with their newest release, “You Are Ok.”

The group created an album that focuses primarily on overcoming and reminding listeners that they aren’t alone, even when life doesn't feel OK.

With the album’s release comes a book, “You Are Ok:  Finding Your Way When Life Doesn't Feel Ok,” which aims to help others through experiences that members of The Maine have endured.

"You Are Ok" is a story in itself. It shares pain, growth and self-discovery in 10 tracks that are raw and honest. The album has a focused, but not limited, theme that is a constant reminder that life is hard, sometimes really hard, but it can and will get better.

The Maine didn't hide that theme, and it was evident from the start what the album would entail, at least a bit. From the group's social media posts to the three singles leading up to "You Are Ok," the message was clear.

It’s unmistakable that the band wanted to craft something that would have an impact, and it’s almost safe to say it will.

It opens with “Slip the Noose,” a song about breaking out of constraints and leaving behind who you once were.

It’s a consistent message on “You Are Ok.”

“You shook the noose, let my head loose, and now that boy is history,” John O'Callaghan sings. “You rescued me from myself.”

“Heaven, We're Already Here” embraces that message of fresh beginnings with the line “daylight isn’t far away, my friend, and we all will be born again,” while “Broken Parts,” the album’s third single, calls attention to the idea everyone is broken, but not permanently.

“You can’t fall any further, any further from the floor. So gather up yourself now, love, just as you were before.”

Related: Review of The Maine's 2017 "Lovely Little Lonely"

The importance of being yourself and embracing life is also a significant part of the album’s meaning.

“My Best Habit,” starts with “to begin, I'm not sorry for myself or any part of me,” an appropriate introduction to the optimistic track about self-acceptance, even when it apparently lets others down.

“If I'm not me, then I am everyone else and then who would be John?”

The album blends tempos and energies and is very string-heavy, something that was previewed in the first single, “Numb Without You.”

For the most part, The Maine sticks to upbeat rock roots, but it mixes in calmer tracks, such as the acoustic “Forevermore.” It also includes some pop vibes, most notably in “Tears Won't Cry (SHINJŪ).”
The album concludes with a nearly 10-minute song that encompasses everything the other nine tracks address.

“Everything is temporary, even the sorrow that you carry. So tell me, are you OK? You say you are OK.”

“Flowers on the Grave” solidifies the message of hope and resilience, while driving home the notion that it is possible to move on and leave behind the past.

“Flowers on the grave of the child that I used to be.”

It’s a record for bad days. It’s a record for good days. It’s a record for when nothing makes sense, a record for when life is confusing. It’s a record for when things fall apart and when things come together.

If you or someone you know needs help, here are suicide prevention support and mental health resources.

Listen to "My Best Habit" below: