The Maine is a band that has been with me, and I with them, from the beginning of the most critical part of my life. I remember looking forward to the release of the music video for “Everything I Ask For” seven years ago, and just three days ago I eagerly clicked through Spotify to save The Maine’s fifth studio album, American Candy.

Each album has been better than the last but when one hears a song by The Maine, they know it’s by The Maine. American Candy amplifies all the best elements of their signature pop rock sound and creates an album that makes you feel like you’re driving on the parkway down the shore even when it’s really 30 degrees outside and there’s snow in the forecast in the coming days.

I think my favorite aspect of this album is it touches on so many different topics and still manages to be cohesive yet fluid. “My Hair” is arguably a silly song; it reminds us to treasure our youth and be unapologetically ourselves.  Then take the slow, serious, hope-instilling “24 Floors. This song acts literally and figuratively as a way of talking you down from a ledge, and in the chorus rings out a message we all need to hear sometimes:  “Take one more breath the clear your mind / Every moment’s relevant / Bittersweet and delicate / Tomorrow may not come again.”  These songs juxtapose one another yet make sense together by embodying the idea of being carefree in different ways.

Another track to take note of is “Am I Pretty?  Even if you are the true king or queen of not giving a fuck, everyone has experienced a gnawing uncertainty about themselves at some point. “Am I Pretty?” takes this insecurity and pairs it with sunny, pop instrumentation to remind you that we all feel that way from time to time – even The Maine. I haven’t been able to stop listening to this record since its release. Granted that was a week ago, but I have a feeling this will be in my “recently played” for quite a while.  American Candy is the pick-me-up you didn’t even know you needed.