For[n]ever is the 4th studio release by American Rock Band Hoobastank. The album was released in January 2009. Despite very little label promotion or media advertising, the release managed to break the top 30 in the United States.

My Turn—-Coming out of the momentary silence with a huge rush, the song features a nice aggressive guitar intro that helps to propel the vocal. The chorus is a huge group effort that plays really well. This is nice, brash and aggressive with an impeccable sense of melody and true to life lyrics….Great!

I Don’t Think I Love You—-Beginning with a great melodic guitar lead, the song is a bit more toned down than the previous track. The vocal is gentle and insightful….designed to feed the teen angst of American teens. This is nice…although the guitar lines are big and beefy, you lose none of the intensity of the lyric…this is nice…too bad it never garnered the attention it deserved.

So Close, So Far—-This is classic Alt-rock. Although not as catchy as some of the bands past material, this has just as much intensity and introspection of any of the bands released songs. The vocal is crystal clear and the musical landscape feeds right into the lyrics…this is a pure unadulterated love song that plays really well. I really like this!!!

All About You—-With a great bass intro, the leads never take the form I expected, but the song is good none the less. As the chorus smacks you in the face, the aggression and poppy punk feel of the band is in full effect. The vocal is wonderful…the aggression and the sarcasm is in great form. This is fantastic!!!

The Letter—-Almost seamlessly blending from the previous track, this features a vocal that is at times manipulated. The musical delivery is pretty typical fare for the band…but never lacks intensity or emotion. This deserved a lot more attention than it got…I remain disappointed at Island Records for not promoting this excellent release. At least 5 singles are on this release…shame on you!!!

Tears Of Yesterday—-Featuring an odd almost synth line intro, the vocal comes out from the pings sounding even more pop than you could imagine. The song has some nice tones and I definitely hear a synth in the backdrop. The vocal is nice…full of angst, frustration and ire. This is wonderfully beautiful…the aggression replaced by emotion…a nice delivery and a favorite of mine.

Sick Of Hanging On—-Blistering from the very first notes, this is a tour de force of pop-punk…the short guitar blasts and aggressive drums are on point. The vocal falls a bit flay for me…I expected something much more aggressive and screamo. This is nice, but the delivery lacks the necessary emotion.

You’re The One—-At this point in the release, the CD suffers from a lack of originality and sameness. The chorus opens up pretty damn nice though….the song becomes a huge sweeping ballad that is fueled by some very skilful guitars and pretty damn good drums. The song will stick in your head simply because of the great catchy quality of the pumped up adrenaline chorus that makes you want to jump around and holler. This is fresh!!!!

Who The Hell Am I?—-From the very first notes of the song, I am surprised by the aggression…things settle some to allow the vocal and the bridge really quiets. The voice is full of agitation and ire…the guitars drive the song, but the drums are the master here. Seeming louder than ever, the drums are in your face and work in PERFECT tandem with the rest of the song. this is a well practised band that enjoys making music together and you can tell by the result and quality of this release.

You Need To Be Here—-Falling back into the recipe fueled success of the past, the band again settles things down to produce a guitar based ballad that allows for the vocal to shine. This is not disappointing, you just wish there was a tad bit more balls to the song. this is really well produced, the mutations and over lays of the vocals are incredible…nice!!!

Gone Gone Gone—-Rounding out the release with a pretty aggressive guitar based song, the track never seems to evolve into what you expected from the beginning. The voice is great, but the emotion seems misplaced and ingenious. This is a pretty great release…a few mis=steps are easily overlooked.

***1/2 out of 5


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