‘The Reason’ Puts Sophomore Jinx to Rest

talynn-soghomonians/" class="creditline">TALYNN SOGHOMONIANS

No one really expected the clean-cut boys of the band Hoobastank to slide through rock’s back door, pick-up the microphone and steal the spotlight, but good thing they did.

The Los Angeles based band’s sophomore album, “The Reason,” might offer the explanation for their unpredicted success.

The quartet includes vocalist Douglas Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, bassist Markku Lappalainen and drummer Chris Hesse.

The second track, “Out of Control,” is definitely a hyper come-back single from Hoobastank’s platinum-selling self-titled debut album in 2001. Robb sings, “Where should I go? / What should I do? / I don’t understand what you want from me. / ‘Cause I don’t know if I can trust you / and I may never know the answer to this endless mystery.”

If there was a new rock song to describe the confusion in the meaning of life, “Same Direction” would be it. The first track questions fate and searches for alternatives to the already set notions of destiny.
The introduction expresses, “Whenever I step outside, somebody claims to see the light. / It seems to me that all of us have lost our patience. / ‘Cause everyone thinks they’re right, and nobody thinks there just might / be more than one road to that final destination.”
Nothing is more attractive than a romantic rocker, and Robb’s certainly no exception. The third track, “What Happened to Us?” is the tale of a hopeless and broken hearted lover.

The song ends with, “We could have made it work, we could have found a way. / We should have done our best to see another day, but we kept it all inside until it was too late. / Now we’re both alone, the consequence we pay / for throwing it all away.”

In the eighth “emo-ish” track, “The Reason,” a lover is determined to change for the better. Robb pours his heart into the chorus, “I never meant to do those things to you / and so I have to say before I go, that I just want you to know. / I’ve found a reason for me, to change who I used to be / a reason to start over new, and that reason is you.”

It is apparent that Hoobastank’s trademark energetic spew of emotions continues to seep into their lyrics. In “Let It Out,” Robb admits this as he confidently sings, ” ‘Cause I’m not afraid not to let it out. / I’m gonna show you how I feel. / I’m not afraid to let it out. / Who cares if you don’t like it.”

The second album proves that these rockers have musically matured and deserve all the recognition for a job very well done.

The band plans on performing all over California during 2004. Upcoming Hoobastank shows will be in the San Jose Arena on Feb. 16 in San Jose, the Cox Arena in San Diego on Feb. 17 and the Arco Arena on Feb. 18 in Sacramento.

The concerts will also include performances by Linkin Park and Story of theYear.

Hoobastank’s, “The Reason,” is currently in stores.