Remember the first time you ever heard "MMMBop"? How completely ridiculous yet incessantly catchy it was? How some of your first make-out sessions were soundtracked by the stringing swell of "I Will Come to You"? How you would waste entire high-school marching-band practices jokingly dancing and singing "Where's the Love?" with the tuba section, yet you secretly acknowledged that Taylor and Co. were right; that particular emotion really did make the world go round and round and round? Sigh. A lot has happened since those glorious days for Hanson. And for all of us.
The boys left their label, Island, after two full-lengths and an EP (no, the Christmas album doesn't count); we've moved out of the basement. They've gotten married and had kids; we've looked on in shock and horror as our friends have gotten married and had kids. They've cut their hair; we've tucked in our shirts to interview for those "job" things.
The brothers Hanson released their self-produced, critically praised Underneath in April and will appear at the Pageant July 25. Theirs is a story of growing older, growing up and growing as independent, uncompromisingly artistic, wholly humanistic beings. We are Hanson. Hanson is us. Except that we are not punch lines.