21st century (China)

Dec 12, 2004 | 

HANSON Brothers is the US band of three brothers who walked into young girls' hearts with "MMMBop" in 1997. And, they're coming to China. The three blond boys will give a concert at the Beijing Exhibition Centre as part of their Asian Tour, on December 5.

Don't be put off by the fact that it's Hanson, the teenage cute-boy trio once mistaken for pretty girls because of their pretty faces.

Seven years later they have a brand new album, "Underneath". It was released on the brothers' own record label. And the three have come back with thoughtful, more developed music that can really brighten your day.

Taylor (lead vocals and keyboards) is the now impossibly handsome 21-year-old middle Hanson. He acknowledges that he and brothers Isaac (guitar), 24, and Zac (drummer), 18, have grown into manhood and got respect.

"We never had any lack of confidence," he says, "but let's face it, most bands that young are not real. We were young and good-looking enough that you wouldn't assume we would be talented and know what we wanted.

"But that's not the case. We care about what we do, and the music we make is what keeps us together," he told the Toronto Sun on the release of "Underneath" this July.

The brothers grew up in a music-loving home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, singing 1950s and 1960s rock, R&B and gospel songs around the family dinner table. The trio were constantly performing at schools, local festivals and around their hometown.

The brothers independently released the album "Boomerang" in 1995, which revealed their feel for pop music. After that, they began sharpening their musical skills, and the hit single "MMMBop" in 1997 showed their new hip-hop and soul-influenced sound.

However, their follow-up "This Time Around" in 2000, failed to have any big hit despite a more defined sound. Shortly after, Hanson were dropped by their label. But their belief did not falter.

Now, Hanson's perseverance has paid off with "Underneath". It reveals their maturity. The opening track, "Strong Enough To Break", states their intention clearly: They are here to stay.

According to Taylor, the only way to deal with the expectations created by their early success is to ignore them.

"You can't chase your tail," he says, "You start by reaching the fans you have and then begin to rekindle the interest with the others."

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