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I confess that two of what might very well be among the cheesiest tunes from my childhood are still favourites of mine at the age of 25, albeit firmly now in the guilty pleasures list. The songs in question are 'MmmBop', a great slice of silly, but such uplifting bubblegum music, and 'I Will Come to You', which is just a lovely little ballad with cliched yet adorable, comforting lyrics. In 2000, the American brothers Hanson had moved away from this type of music which had helped them conquer the international charts a few years prior, when they released their second studio album 'This Time Around', an appropriate title as this really was like hearing a different band, whose voices had now all broken, and had adopted a more mature, yet still completely commercial driving-rock sound for their second record.

The album was an artistic success for Hanson, but commercially, it wasn't as successful as their previous music, but since when did charts ever tell the complete story? It did however spawn two great singles, the title track which was a top 20 hit in America, and a solid rocker that sounds as far away from 'MmmBop' as it could ever had, and 'If Only', a sweet love song which reached a respectable no.15 placing in the UK. These were great alternative songs from the three young lads who were now evolving in the music world, and have held up remarkably well some 17 years later, still sounding appealing and fresh even today.

It isn't just those two tracks which are worth hearing this one out either, the likes of 'Runaway Run' and 'Can't Stop' are great fun, and standout ballads 'Save Me', 'Love Song', and 'A Song to Sing' even things out nicely, and are testament to Hanson's songwriting abilities, which were always there, but simply getting better with age.

'This Time Around' is a great pop-rock crossover, from a teenage band who had made music aimed at fellow kids and very young teens, but were proving themselves to be such so much more than what their early reputation suggested. It's a great deal better than the first album 'Middle of Nowhere', and is sure to win folk over who hated those early hits, as this is one for the adults. Some people might still mock when they hear the name Hanson, but if they still haven't done their homework and listened to this record first, then they should open my minds to do so, because they might well be forced to eat humble pie.
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on 13 August 2000
If Hanson hadn't become famous when they did, and if in fact this was their first album, lots of people would be nagging their friends to listen to it and remarking on how talented they are. However, Hanson suffered after their "Mmmm Bop" track by being placed firmly into the "brat" catagory (probably partly also to do with some un-wise cocky comments by Zac in some interviews at the time!). I admit that's exactly how i thought of them anyway. So, imagine my embarrassment when i heard "this time around" and "if only" and not only liked them but couldn't stop singing the tunes in my head! But i got over it, bought the album and really would urge fellow sceptics to listen to it through before dismissing it. The three Hanson brothers are rare in that they are very young, EXTREMELY musically talented and write their own material. I for one would rather listen to their albums over any mass-produced, mindless girlie or boy band. (so that's Hanson already one step ahead of 70% of the charts!) Listen to this album...you might well be surprised.
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on 1 May 2000
Back in 1997 I bought "Middle Of Nowhere" on the strength of MMMBop and that risk paid off. "Middle Of Nowhere" was an exceptionally good album that completely surpassed my expectations. Since then I have bought "Three Car Garage", "Snowed In", and "Live From Albertane" by Hanson and all have been incredibly good. But only now has the second studio album arrived - and BOY was it worth the wait. Like "Three Car Garage" and unlike "Middle Of Nowhere" Hanson are credited as being the sole writers on this album and it is all for the better. The songs are amazing and Taylor's voice is sounding absolutely outstanding. The highlights of the album have to be the single "If Only", and also "This Time Around", "Save Me" (with Taylor's vocals making hairs stand on end), "Sure About It", and "A Song To Sing", but there's not a bad track. This album is not so much better as "Middle Of Nowhere", as an incredible progression demonstrating the amazing talents these brothers have. I suggest that no one be without it. Thanks very much, Isaac, Taylor and Zac for producing such an amazing album, it was well worth the wait!
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on 7 September 2000
On hearing the first track, YOU NEVER KNOW, you wonder what other styles of music that Hanson have experimented with on this new album. The bridge of RUNAWAY RUN is just to die for and the American drawl of Taylor on SAVE ME is just absolutely fantastic. IN THE CITY shows that the boys are growing up somewhat as this song is about adultery and the type of things that go on in the city basically! Then we end the album with A SONG TO SING and boy is that a song to finish an album off with! This album really blew me away when I first heard it and even now, after many listens of it, I still think that it is the best album in my collection! Well, apart from MIDDLE OF NOWHERE anyway!
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on 2 July 2000
This cd is great, it shows us just how much talent those sexy wannabes really have. It's great for listening to while you're in bed or for dancing about in your bedroom, but be warned if you're listening to it before bed, you'll never get any sleep! This album really shows off the boys new mature sound. My personal favourites are Runaway Run, Can't Stop, This time around, Sure about it and A Song to Sing. Taylor's vocals on Save me are simply outstanding, as I never knew he could sing so high. This is well worth the wait in gold and suggest that if you're having doubts, dont! Plus a bonus is that there are some real gorge pics of the boys on the cd inlay!
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on 16 August 2000
Any person who has ever judged Hanson only by Mmmbop needs to listen to this cd and take back their commments about Hanson being 'bubble gum pop' 'a boyband' 'cheesy' 'too cute, too young' or 'chipmunks' because, as this album undoubtbly proves, they are none of these; these are three talented musicans who can play live, write their all their own songs and are still good! This Time Around is my favourite album of the year, all of it's songs are heart felt and worthy of a much higher title than 'pop'. Try Rock.
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on 18 October 2000
This is such a good album, I was really sad that it didn't reach the top spot and very surprised because it song which are very catchy. It has romantic songs, sad songs, sweet songs and it's-so-cool songs. My personal fave has to be "In The City" because it's a very loud, wicked song which gets u in the mood for anything even school or work, buy this and ur life will change.
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on 21 December 2003
This was the album which proved all the critics wrong. Although a widely critically acclaimed album, it failed to top of the charts - who knows why? People need to give Hanson a chance. They wrote every song, played every instrument, produced every track, wrote every lyric. Great talent, great songs, great future - 'if only' they could get rid of their bubblegum pop image!
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on 24 November 2007
Having thoroughly enjoyed all the catchy tunes on Middle of Nowhere and no further product being recorded by the boys for 2½ years (except the excellent holiday album Snowed In) I wondered whether I would still like the music these guys produced. All looking very grown up now, including drummer Zac (Johnny Vaughn on Big Breakfast referred to them as a "pack of lumberjacks")they didn't surpass "Middle" but came pretty damn near.
I really like the powerful ballads Hand in Hand and Save Me, (with Ike taking lead on the former) but the rock tracks Dying to be Alive and This Time Around also hit the mark. Only the last two tracks In the City and A Song to Sing are a bit bland, otherwise I would have given this album 5 stars.
Listen to and enjoy the grown up Hanson!
I might hasten to add that I haven't just heard this cd recently my daughter bought it for me in 2000 and I still have it and listen to it.
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on 12 September 2000
Give this album just a couple of plays and you'll be singing the tunes with vigour. It is rare to find an album where you don't skip any of the tracks.Positively well worth whatever you pay for it. Buy it with confidence and enjoy the result.
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