Hanson

Middle of Nowhere

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Sounding like a post-alternative version of the Jackson 5 -- complete with effervescent harmonies, sunny melodies, rolling hip-hop beats, and dense, layered productions -- Hanson is positively bubbling energy throughout its surprisingly infectious and melodic debut, Middle of Nowhere. It's hard not to hear the lead single, "MMMBop," or the similary infectious "Where's the Love" and not get caught up in the joy of making music. Although the boys co-wrote nine of the 13 songs with professional writers, and the producers do offer a distinctive stamp, the personalities that shine through are Hanson's -- youthful, exuberant, and positively joyous. A few of the songs may run on a bit too long, and there are a couple of borrowed melodies and silly lyrics, but Middle of Nowhere is a delight.

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