February 09, 2018

Hoobastank - For(n)ever (2009)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
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© 2009 Island Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The parenthetical "n" in the title of For(n)ever isn't merely a piece of clever typography, it's an indication of what Hoobastank's fourth album is all about, for For(n)ever is tied together by the notion that nothing lasts forever...or more precisely, whatever relationship singer Doug Robb just finished sure didn't last forever. For(n)ever is a breakup album at its purest, teeming with regret, anger, and recriminations but little guilt, as there's little question that Robb believes he's the wronged party. He finds incriminating letters tucked away behind the bed, discovers that "[The] more you speak/The less I care about you," wonders "Who the Hell Am I?" now that the relationship has sputtered to a halt. The funny thing about a breakup album scored to mechanical modern rock -- equal part grunge harmonies and digitally processed active rock riffs -- is that sympathy winds up shifting from the singer to his subject of scorn, since all those nasty sentiments feel directed to the listeners, not the cheating, duplicitous girl who is now long gone, gone, gone. Despite this barrage of invective, it's strangely reassuring hearing the oft-preprogrammed Hoobastank break free from their constraints. Prior to this, they seemed more concerned with airplay than emotion, so it's nice to see their human side slip through even if it isn't particularly pleasant to hear.

tags: hoobastank, fornever, for(n)ever,  2009, flac,


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