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=dallas review=

(Dallas Observer Online - | Roadshows | September 24 - 30, 1998)

Originally, Mercury Records tried to sell alternarock radio on Hanson. It didn't work, but hey, it was worth a shot; the band was discovered by the Dust Brothers, and Beastie Boy Mike D's wife, Tamra Davis, did direct the band's first two videos. Mercury learned there isn't much musically redeeming about the Brothers Hanson, so selling them to the Tiger Beat set was really their only hope. The only people who want to hear Hanson's music are those who don't care what they sound like. Sure, Hanson has been compared to the Jackson Five, but that's only because they're brothers and lead singer Taylor has a girlishly high voice. Hanson lacks every ounce of the Jackson Five's soul and charisma. No, they're the '90s' Osmond Brothers.

You've got to hand it to Mercury, though. They know better than anyone that a band like Hanson has only a few good years in it, so it's been cranking out new Hanson product faster than you can say, "That kid who plays drums is really freakin' annoying." Since releasing the band's debut, Middle of Nowhere, early last year, the label has already issued a Christmas disc, Snowed In, and a compilation of some of the band's pre-Mercury recordings, 3 Car Garage: The Indie Recordings '95-'96 (which features a different version of "MMMBop"). A live album is in the works, and a second collection of rarities is rumored as well, even though the band has yet to release a follow-up to Middle of Nowhere.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when singer-keyboard player Taylor Hanson's voice gets lower, so will the band's record sales. Plus, Hanson's main audience, 12-year-old girls, will soon move on to new things, if they haven't already, covering their old posters of Taylor, Zac, and Isaac, with new ones of the Backstreet Boys or Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Imagine, a powerful record company at the mercy of a bunch of junior-high students.

Copyright 1998 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

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