Hanson In the News: a Retrospective


Throughout the past ten years, Hanson have received tremendous news coverage. I've dipped into the archive to compile a collection of some of the best and most interesting reviews and articles about our favorite band.

1997


1997 is the year it all started. In that year, "MMMBop" was released.

"They just don't come along all that often--those irresistible pop songs that impel you to dance, even if it's just in your head. Songs that combine rhythmic groove and timbrel intrigue in such a way that they retain their ability to get to you no matter how many times you hear them. "Mmmbop" is one of those songs." -- from "MMMBop" by Robynn J. Stilwell. Popular Music and Society, Summer, 1999

Later, Hanson released their first album, Middle of Nowhere.

"... this album sounds like a wake-up call to anyone with enough heart left to be paying attention, with enough guts to let their guard down and just feel. Whether deliberately, accidentally or instinctively (who cares?), these kids have brought it all back home in a way today's coolest musicians and hippest critics haven't had the guts to." from: Songwriting Whiz Kids Can Do It All By David Cantwell.

The music industry stood up and took notice of this startling new phenomena.

"I think Hanson's going to be around for a long time. I think that they're three great talented young men and I think that what people need to stop doing to music is looking at the negative in everything. People are trying their best. It's great, and I think they're going to be around for a long time. You know, I like Hanson. When I hear them sing live, they have good voices, they play live instruments. I think they are going to grow as musicians. They are great entertainers and they have a lot of personality...some clean-cut kids trying to have a good time. They sound like the Jackson 5 to me a little bit. They got a lot of soul to them." --Sean Combs (P Diddy)

1997 was the Year of Hanson. In one year, they went from being almost entirely unknown, to being multi-platinum artists who were known throughout the world.

"In eight easy months, Tulsa's own Hanson brothers took the world by storm. If you haven't yet been bitten by the boys' bug, be assured - they will come for you. In August, Hanson played, well, a record-breaking show in Toronto, Canada. Trick is, they didn't set the record -- their fans did. The mob -- mostly ecstatic young girls, of course -- screamed their way into the Guinness Book of World Records. The sound meter at the show registered the audience frenzy at 140 decibels. The previous record is 126 decibels, set by fans of the Who nearly two decades ago. (Parents, fill in your own "The Kids Are Alright" joke here.) That's just one way the Hanson brothers have made noise this year. When the calendar turned to '97, the Hanson boys couldn't get arrested. They'd been on the local pep rally circuit and become Mayfest staples, even had quietly released two indie albums, but the Hanson moniker meant nothing to the masses. This New Year's holiday, the Hanson family has a lot to toast. The family's singing trio -- Zac, Taylor and Isaac -- has sold more than 10 million albums and become the No. 1 pop group in nearly every country on the planet. Here's a look back at the past year of Hanson-mania -- the exposition and explosion: MMMBoy!" From Zeroes to Heroes By World's Own Service 12/26/97

Hanson's holiday presents to their fans in 1997 were a Christmas CD, Snowed In, and a longform video called Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere.

Snowed In continues the time-honored tradition of Christmas albums by big-name pop acts, combining holiday-themed originals with familiar standards. This one's a cut above standard Yuletide fare, boasting the same tuneful effervescence that sets Hanson apart from standard-issue teen idols. This 11-song disc combines 3 smartly crafted originals with snappily Hansonized interpretations of such holiday standards as the Phil Spector chestnut "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," the old Brenda Lee hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," and the traditional "Silent Night Medley." That last track is a particularly nice showcase for the sibling trio's boyishly soulful harmonies. --Scott Schinder, from Amazon.com.

1998


1998 began with a stellar music video for Hanson's new single, "Weird". The video had a long run at the top of MTV's Total Request countdown. Total Request was the precursor to TRL.

Van Sant, who is best known for his auteurship on such dark films as "My Own Private Idaho" and "Drugstore Cowboy," will be directing the clip for the Hanson track, "Weird."

If you find that, well, weird, it was Van Sant who actually approached the band after he watched the video for "Where's The Love," and fell in love with their energy. The video's concept, however, was developed by the brothers, though it is being kept under raps for now. Hanson Gets "Weird" With Director Gus Van Sant MTV News, February 12, 1998


Hanson were nominated for three Grammy awards, and invited to perform at the Grammys.

At the Grammy's - "I was very impressed with Hanson's performance. I thought that little drummer was a kick-ass drummer, and that they sang great. I mean I didn't know, they're just little boys you know? I was very impressed. I think they they'll probably be around in 20 years writing good songs and being in a great band." -- Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)

Hanson released their pre-fame album, Three Car Garage.

"This week, Hanson took an aggressive approach to quelling naysayers and doubters, releasing a new record in an attempt to prove it is a pint-size pop behemoth of its own making.

The album is a collection of songs from the two CD's Hanson made on its own before finding success in the arms of a big record company, Mercury. Titled "Three Car Garage," it features the band's early versions of "MMMBop" and other songs, demonstrating just how much (and how little) the band changed when Mercury teamed it up with songwriters known for their work with everyone from Aerosmith to the Drifters and the in-demand producers of the moment, the Dust Brothers. Technically, "Three Car Garage" is the band's fifth album -- impressive for a group whose members are still middle- and high-school age." from Cute, Packaged? Sure. But Hanson's Talented By Neil Strauss. New York Times,


1998 was also the year of Hanson's first world tour, the Albertane Tour.

The brothers sounded best on tunes that drew on their natural ebullience, charm and, yes, innocence, whether the romantic fable "Soldier" or the vivacious "Stories," both from albums recorded three years ago, when Taylor was 12. His voice has changed much since those sessions, deepening enough that even his leads on "MMMbop" sounded a bit different from last summer's hit version (not that anyone noticed last night, since all the fans were singing along as if their lives depended on it). from Hanson: What a Scream!The Washington Post, July 3, 1998.

Even Aimee Osbourne wanted to see Hanson on the Albertane Tour, and she paid $16,000 for the privilege!

"In the "What will Daddy think?" department, the teenage daughter of Ozzy Osbourne has paid $16,000 for the privilege of hanging out with pop boppers Hanson. Aimee Osbourne put in the winning offer at the City of Hope charity auction in Los Angeles on Thursday. A report from charity personnel say she bid "furiously" against one other person to win the prize, which includes socializing, concert tickets and backstage passes. (As if Dad couldn't score those with his connections)? " from Ozzy's Daughter Pays $16,000 For Hanson Passes, MTV.com

Hanson performed "MMMBop" with Blues Traveller at the 7th H.O.R.D.E. Festival.

It was a real treat to play "MmmBop" with Hanson. Whether you like Hanson or not, that song has a historical basis. Centuries from now, everyone will have to concede that back in the 90's, Hanson's music affected contemporary music. The boys were nice enough. Humble, polite, etc. But I'd like to talk about their musicianship for a second. When were their respective ages, we couldn't play instruments nearly as well. When I first saw Hanson on video, I remember feeling a little concerned for them, insofar as they are cute little blond boys who will be chewed up and spit out by an uncaring and fickle teenybopper, radio-friendly audience. The reason this concerned me was that they seemed to care about playing their own instruments and writing their own songs. It is my hope that given enough time to interact with other musicians, as they get older they will continue to grow in their playing and their songwriting. I think they did a fine job, bravely walking on someone else's stage, a stage full of musicians who can really play, and sell a hit song to a very skeptical crowd. What was weird for me was looking back and seeing young Zach behind the drums. Because he looked exactly like Brendan when he was 13 and I first started playing with him. Quite the eerie flashback. Hanson has both blessed and cursed for being cute in a teen idol kind of way. If I was them, I would milk it till the teat is dry, and then regard it as merely an introductory chapter in their musical career. from BluesTraveler.net

The Albertane Tour was captured for posterity in Hanson's first live CD, Live From Albertane, as well as a longform video, The Road To Albertane.

So drummer Zachary Hanson's voice is changing on the road. It's not as if the problem were really noticeable in a concert setting charged by the sound of thousands upon thousands of prepubescent girls squealing their hearts out. Besides, keyboardist Taylor Hanson, the strongest singer in the band, is in good voice, often coming across as a young (very young), blue-eyed soul man. This album (Mercury) was recorded at a concert in Seattle last June. The Tulsa trio kicks things off with a crowd-thrilling medley of "Gimme Some Lovin' " and "Shake a Tailfeather" -- truth to tell, there's something endearing about the way these teen-throbs reveal their R&B influences -- before celebrating the sound of Motown with a similarly spirited if undernourished version of "Money (That's What I Want)." Money, of course, is what Hanson already has, piles of it, thanks to "MMMBop" and other hits that are energetically reprised here. from Hanson, `Live From Albertane', reviewed by Mike Joyce, The Washington Post, December 6, 1998.

Hanson had several songs on the soundtrack of a holiday movie, Jack Frost.

Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Billy Bob Thorton, Laura Dern, Mark Addy (The Full Monty), the Lawrence brothers, and hundreds of screaming young fans braved the cold on Saturday to see Hanson perform four songs live at the premiere of Jack Frost in Westwood, Calif.

The trio, who appears on the film's soundtrack, performed the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin,'" a medley of the Rascals' "Good Lovin'" and the Five Du-Tones' "Shake A Tail Feather," "Run, Run Rudolph," and "Merry Christmas Baby."Hanson Rocks Star-Studded Jack Frost Premiere by Midnight Jones, Los Angeles, from Yahoo! Launch News


1999


Hanson spent much of 1999 in the studio working on the follow-up to Middle of Nowhere. But there were a few surprises in store for us as well, such as their February 13 appearance with Bob Weir and RatDog at Wetlands.

After midnight Weir, the Grateful Dead guitarist, and his stand-up bass-playing collaborator stepped back onstage to continue their jam session, and Weir announced that he had some friends to welcome. Out bounded three rosy teen-agers in blond ponytails who sped into a spirited set of blues oldies and Dead tunes, led by an enlivened Weir. Yes, it was Hanson, the fraternal team behind "MMMBop," revealing itself to be not a teeny-bop act after all, but a hippie reconnaissance unit spreading the Dead's legacy to a new generation. Bob Weir and Hanson: Teen-Age Idols Come Alive at a Temple for Deadheads by Ann Powers, New York Times, February 15, 1999

All did not go smoothly in the studio as the band worked on their new album.

More than two years have passed since Hanson burst onto the teen scene, and now the brothers are in the studio and ready to prove they're no flash in the pan. But so far it hasn't been easy. Just three weeks after producer Ric Ocasek (Weezer, Nada Surf) began working with Hanson, the former Cars frontman has been relieved of his duties by Jeff Fenster, A&R rep for the band's Mercury Records label. Fenster says it simply "didn't work out with Ric." Ocasek says Fenster didn't want Hanson to play instruments on the new album. from All Chaotic on the Hanson Front by Blair R. Fisher, Rolling Stone, July 15, 1999.

2000


Early in 2000, Hanson presented their new website, Hanson.net!

In 2000, we finally got to hear the long-awaited follow-up to Middle of Nowhere. First, there were two singles, "This Time Around" and "If Only". Which single came out first depended upon the country in which you lived.

On "This Time Around": This single is pop for listeners who are tired of synthetic drums and chirpy love songs. Although the chorus of "This Time Around" won't dance around your head a thousand times like "MMMBop" did, it's not easy to forget and is just catchy enough to bound up the charts.
Congratulations to Hanson for being brave enough to mature past the pop that brought them fame and play songs they're obviously into. Chances are, their fans have grown up too and are ready for something fresh and new. from: This time around, Hanson grows up, by Stephanie McGrath, AllPop, March 8, 2000.


On "If Only": The teen trio's stellar re-entry into the pop fray, "This Time Around," may not have reached "Mmmbop"-like chart heights, but it effectively broke new ground for the maturing pop act--and it proved that the Hanson brothers are as musically skillful as they're videogenic. With that task complete, the road should be clear for this rousing new single to easily sail up The Billboard Hot 100. Already a hit in the U.K. and Europe, "If Only" rocks with notable authority. But it also has enough pop bounce to keep the kiddies shrieking with glee. Taylor Hanson's brisk lead vocal is nicely complemented by brothers Zack and Ike's smooth harmonies, as well as an arrangement riddled with nimble turntable scratches and a fluid harmonica solo by guest John Popper. Way hipper and more substantial than almost anything else offered by current teen-level acts, this single deserves--make that demands--immediate top 40 programmer approval.Single Review, Billboard, June 3, 2000

And finally, the release of the album itself:

"Their growth and maturity as musicians on this album clearly exemplifies their increased artistic depth," says Jim Caparro, chairman/CEO of the Island/Def Jam Music Group. He adds that, while "This Time Around" has formidable kid-reach, "they've always existed outside [the teen] realm. While so many teenage artists are primarily performers, Hanson is made up of artists and musicians."

Adds Lyor Cohen, president of the Island/Def Jam Music Group, "The most striking aspect of this album is how great the songs are and how naturally they grew up. The songs are so good that those who love real musicians are going to go nuts for them." from: Island/Def Jam's Hanson Grows Up.by Larry Flick. Billboard, April 22, 2000.


"Like a blond three-headed hydra, Hanson loom over the competition, making all other teen idols sound like Gerber-sucking clowns." from Music Review. This Time Around. by Rob Sheffield. Rolling Stone. May 25, 2000.

Hanson were invited to perform in honor of Brian Wilson at a prestigious event hosted by the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

Hanson brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zachary will be among the youngest guests present at the 31st Annual Songwriter's Hall of Fame Induction Awards at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers on Thursday, but they don't mind. "We're kind of like freaks for a lot of that old stuff," middle sibling Taylor said. from Hansons Psyched to Be Beach Boys. by Jennifer Vineyard. Rolling Stone, June 15, 2000

The band toured in support of their new album.

On Friday, the brothers' lifetime of effort was apparent as they performed a nearly two-hour show. The concert held plenty of appeal, not only for the teen and preteen girls who dominated the crowd but also for their parents and for other unabashed fans of breezy, hook- filled pop music. "Hanson Takes Teen Music To New Level With Talent" by David Durchholz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 22, 2000

Hanson's song "Smile" appeared on the soundtrack of Malcolm in the Middle.

2001


In 2001, Hanson began work on their next studio album. They started by collaborating with some established songwriters.

Those surprised to hear the brothers Hanson had been co-writing with the likes of Matthew Sweet and ex-New Radical Gregg Alexander, may be downright shocked to hear they've expanded their collaboration roster to include legendary tunesmith Carole King. The Hansons -- Isaac, Taylor and Zac -- have just returned from mega-manager Miles Copeland's annual "songwriting bootcamp" at Chateau de Marouatte in France where they penned and demoed two tracks, "Let You Go" and "One More Time" with King. While at Copeland's chateau, the trio also co-wrote a number, "Never Love Again," with the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson and Donny Brown of the Verve Pipe. from Hanson Work With Carole King by Greg Heller, Rolling Stone, June 1, 2001.

Hanson Live at the Fillmore was released on DVD.

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Grateful Dead... and Hanson? If the idea of the young pop-rock phenoms taking the stage at San Francisco's fabled Fillmore Auditorium--where Hendrix, Joplin, and so many other immortals once bathed in the spotlight--should strike you as sacrilegious, well, perhaps you're selling Hanson short. For while brothers Isaac (guitar), Taylor (keyboards) and Zachary (drums) Hanson are boys, they are certainly not a "boy band"; the teenyboppers who packed the Fillmore for this June 2000 show may swoon over their wholesome good looks, but Hanson eschew choreographed dance moves, fancy duds, designer haircuts, and the other boy-band trappings in favor of (gasp!) their music... -- Sam Graham. from Amazon.com.

Hanson performed at Riverfest in Tulsa. One of the new songs they performed, "Wake Up", appeared on the Princess Diaries Soundtrack.

Once again, the guys got the chance to perform with a favorite musician.

The Hanson boys got a chance to jump onstage with one of their favourite musicians on Tuesday night.Zac, Taylor and Isaac Hanson joined Ben Folds on an L.A. stage to sing his song "Kate", cdnow.com reports.

While the piano-playing musician was back onstage for an encore, a tech expert came on to the stage and whispered something to Folds."We have a special guest -- three special guests," he said. "The Hanson Brothers."The Hansons are now working on the follow-up to their album "This Time Around".from Hanson & Ben Folds onstage together. Allpop. October 18, 2001.


Hanson ended the year with a radio interview and performance on Mark and Brian's syndicated radio show.

2002


As 2002 began, Hanson had a cameo appearance on the TV show "Sabrina The Teenage Witch". They performed part of the new song, "Hey".

Taylor announced his marriage to Natalie Bryant.

Our wedding was exactly how we envisioned it, romantic and intimate, and surrounded by our families and friends," the nineteen-year-old Hanson said. "Natalie and I are looking forward for to our life together."from Taylor Hanson Ties the Knot by Christina Saraceno. Rolling Stone.com. June 14, 2002.

Taylor and Natalie announced the birth of their first child, Jordan Ezra.

Taylor Hanson, 19, and his wife Natalie Anne Bryant, 18, became parents on October 31. Bryant gave birth to Jordan Ezra on Halloween morning. "We're so excited to start a family," Hanson said in a statement."Having Ezra is the best thing we've ever done. Life and art are all about these moments." Hanson married Bryant, his girlfriend of two years, in June at a private ceremony in Pine Mountain, Georgia. from: The middle brother of the pop singing trio Hanson has become a father. The Age (Australia). November 21, 2002.

2003


Early in 2003, Hanson previewed some of their new songs live for a small group of fans in Tulsa.

A little later, they made an important announcement:

Three time Grammy nominated artists Hanson, newly free of their recording contract with Island Def Jam, are currently in the studio with producer Danny Kortchmar (Billy Joel, Don Henley, Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Neil Young) recording the final songs for their largely self-produced third full-length album, Underneath. The band and IDJ mutually agreed to part ways this week after not seeing eye-to-eye on the band's musical direction. Says Taylor Hanson, "Our vision for the songs and the production of this record was something we wouldn't compromise. We are thrilled to finally be able to finish the record and move forward with our career." from Hanson in the Studio Working on their Third Full-Length Album

Soon after, the music industry took notice:

Brotherly pop trio Hanson has left Island Def Jam (IDJ) and is working on a new studio album. "For a long time, it was building up that this partnership wasn't something that was productive," group member Taylor Hanson tells Billboard. "We said, 'Hey guys, let's make it easy on both of us -- we would like to leave this label. Will you let us? It's time to part ways.'" IDJ did not return calls for comment. from: Hanson Splits Island, Working On New Album. by Melinda Newman. Billboard. May 2, 2003.

Taylor collaborated with some old friends in Tulsa.

The crowd and Ratdog were having such a good time that Taylor Hanson couldn't resist subtly slipping behind Chimenti's keyboards during the highlight of the evening, "Saint Steven." Taylor made his presence clear, though, later on as he burned up and down the piano keys. Hanson's appearance wasn't a total surprise since Weir is a fan of Hanson, and he invited the Tulsa trio to play with him at a 1999 gig in New York City. from: How did you celebrate Bob Weir Day? Mayor, Hanson threw down at Cain's by Matt Gleason. Tulsa World. May 10, 2003.

Hanson played their first public show in a long time, and it was for a special cause.

Hanson will unplug for a set at Los Angeles's Henry Fonda Theater tonight to benefit Lifebeat, a music-industry AIDS charity. Also on the bill for the concert, sponsored by independent radio station KCRW, are Phantom Planet, Calexico, Bleu, the Like, Wilshite and Special Goodness, featuring Weezer drummer Pat Wilson. from: Hanson Unplug for AIDS Gig. by Augustin Sedgwick. Rolling Stone. June 19, 2003.

They released a new single called "Penny and Me".

The first single, ''Penny and Me,'' is a bright, sunny singalong -- more singer-songwriter than either Brit-pop or teen dream -- accompanied only by acoustic guitars and percussion. ''It's a very, very good song,'' says Mike Mulaney, music director at Mix 98.5. ''I'm not sure how it will do because of the preconceptions radio has of Hanson. We're going to give them a shot though. We'll see if lightning strikes twice.'from: From 'MMMBop' to mature pop by Joan Anderman. Boston Globe. August 1, 2003.

Hanson released Underneath Acoustic through the Hanson.net store. As much as these brothers are influenced by the spirit of '50s rock 'n' roll, their songwriting on this effort is closer to early '70s soft-rock, especially in this unplugged presentation, recorded live early this summer with a small audience at Tulsa's historic Church Studio. Several of the songs have the same lilt and sensitivity of England Dan & John Ford Coley or, more prominently, Bread (led by another famous Tulsan, David Gates). "Deeper," a powerful and passionate song sung by Isaac, is an example, and the title track, "Underneath," is a remarkably layered and carefully constructed ballad that would prick up Jimmy Webb's ears. from Underneath Acoustic review. Thomas Conner. Tulsa World. August 10, 2003.

Later that summer came an acoustic tour of the U.S.

... Hanson plays these sweet soul-pop tunes just because they like them. It's a humble effort, and a novel one for mainstream music. Hanson isn't breaking creative ground or pushing at the edges of anything. The simple joy in the songs and on the fans' faces -- especially when Zac handed the girl with the sign his drumstick -- is an entirely different sort of accomplishment. from: Stripped-down sound still uplifting. by Joan Anderman. Boston Globe. August 14, 2003.

In October, Hanson held a press conference to announce the formation of their new label, 3CG, and their upcoming Carnegie Hall acoustic concert

Hanson have parted from Island/Def Jam and will release their third album, Underneath, on their newly formed 3CG records next year. The brothers made the announcement this morning at New York's legendary but embattled Bottom Line club.from: Hanson Open Their Own Garage by Andrew Dansby. Rolling Stone. October 1, 2003.

The Carnegie Hall concert was a success.

Hanson, who played the great hall Wednesday, brilliantly displayed what you can achieve when you have talent, perseverance and six precious years of practice as professionals. from: Practice Pays Off: Hanson-ly, by Dan Aquilante. New York Post. November 7, 2003.

Hanson ended the year by releasing a charity single.

Hanson have recorded a cover of the Crosby, Stills and Nash classic 'Teach Your Children' for charity. Proceeds from sales of the download of the song will go the British charity Children In Need. The charity founded by the BBC was set up in 1980 and to date has raised almost $AUD1 billion. The charity benefits needy children in the UK. Hanson say they learned of Children In Need on their recent acoustic tour of the UK. from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Hanson by Paul Cashmere. Undercover. November 18, 2003.

2004


Hanson filmed the video for the first single off of the new album.

Hanson shot the music video this week for “Penny and Me,” the first single off their long-awaited third studio album, the more-than-three-years-in-the-making, Underneath. Underneath will be released April 20th on their own 3CG Records (distributed through independent ADA) and will be available at all major music retailers. from press release, HANSON SHOOTS VIDEO FOR FIRST SINGLE, "PENNY & ME" FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM, "UNDERNEATH". VIDEO STARS SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG (“THE OC”)

The single had a tremendous Billboard chart debut.

"Penny & Me," Hanson's debut single from their forthcoming independent release on their own 3CG Records, snagged the #2 spot on Billboard's Top 200 Singles chart this morning, with Clay Aiken holding on to #1. Hanson's single is the #1 independently distributed release in the country. from press release: Hanson's Independent Release, 'Penny & Me' Debuts at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Singles Chart.

Underneath was released. It debuted at #1 on Billboard's Independent Music chart.

Hanson’s third studio album, Underneath released on their own, self-funded 3CG Records last Tuesday debuted at #1 on Billboard’s independent sales chart and #25 on Billboard's Top 200 , making it one of the most successful self-released albums of all time. The success of Underneath puts Hanson in rare company with the few other artists such as Prince and Ani DiFranco who have scored Top 25 chart positions on previous self-released titles. from press release Hanson's Underneath #1 Independent Album.

The album was critically lauded.

".... this perfectly pitched record reveals that these hardworking brothers' valiant quest for independence shall be rewarded. from Okies From MMMBopee Remain Brothers for the Long Haul by Kandia Crazy Horse. Village Voice. June 15, 2004.

The Underneath tour was a success.

It's rare to see pop performers work harder than they have to onstage. Usually what you get is a well-rehearsed impersonation of energy and enthusiasm. But on Saturday night at the Electric Factory, Hanson genuinely ripped it up, romping through a two-hour-plus set that was an unalloyed pleasure.

The sibling singers certainly didn't have to try so hard. Their still rabid female fan base would scream deliriously if Isaac, Taylor and Zac merely strolled out and waved to the crowd.

But Hanson is a surprisingly polished and confident live act. With the help of two supplementary musicians, they delivered a rich, layered sound, driven hard by Zac's rock-ribbed drumming. from Hanson charges up Factory by David Hildbrant. Philadelphia Inquirer. July 12, 2004.


In September, Hanson surprised the students of Columbia University. They visited the campus, performed a brief acoustic set, and spoke to the students about what they could do to try to improve the music being played on the radio.

After the set, Taylor stood up to explain why the band had appeared at Columbia that day. He spoke about the lack of both variety and good music on the radio and asked students to call their radio stations and "talk about the music you want to hear." "We left our recent label and we're passionate about our music," Taylor said, "Radio stations ... top 40 radio stations ... are only playing eight songs," he said. "Call them up and talk about your favorite bands." He mentioned Guster and Death Cab for Cutie as examples of underplayed artists. from Hanson Surprises, Serenades Campus. by Julia Israel. Columbia Spectator. September 15, 2004.

In 2004, Hanson visited Japan, Korea, and Thailand. They toured the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

After thrilling Shanghai fans yesterday, the Hanson Brothers will arrive in the Chinese capital to play an acoustic concert at the Beizhan Theatre on Sunday. They will move to Hong Kong's Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday.from Hanson Brothers Arrive in Beijing. China Daily. December 3, 2004.

2005


Hanson toured Europe as Underneath was released there.

"So all-in-all, with every track practically a text book example of what great pop should sound like, even the ballads, Hanson’s return is a welcome one." from Hanson Underneath: Music Review. by Don Gennoe. Dot Music.

They toured Mexico, South America, and the UK.

Former US teen family band Hanson were back in Dublin last night in the Ambassador Theatre and it seems they have done the impossible - gone from a cheesy pop act to a credible rock band!

And don't just take it from us, with fans like Bono on their side it looks like it's cool to like Hanson again. Bono told CD:UK recently: "I admire Hanson. ‘MmmBop’ is one of my favorite songs of all time. They're an amazing band." from: Ja Rule & Hanson Rock Dublin. Showbiz Ireland News. March 23, 2005.


Back in the US, Hanson visited colleges and shared their vision of the music industry.

If you think you know Hanson, think again. As Taylor Hanson, 21, stood on a chair on a makeshift stage in the courtyard of Georgia State University last Tuesday afternoon, shouting his frustrations about mainstream radio and music to a crowd of several hundred students, one could almost feel a shockwave tear through the crowd as he dropped one f-bomb after another. from Think radio sucks? You're not alone. Hillary Lipko. Technique. March 11, 2005.

Taylor became a father once again, to Penelope Anne.

The couple became parents again only last month with the arrival of daughter Penelope Anne. "I guess I've done most things fairly early on," he says. "Every moment of my life up to this point I have filled with as much as I possibly can. So being married and starting a family, for me that's something very cool and great." from: Three Imaginary Boys by Guy Blackman. The Age (Australia). May 29, 2005.

Hanson headlined Mayfest in Tulsa.

It was the brothers' homecoming and they were the most popular kids at the wild shindig. And on stage, Taylor looked every bit the teenage heartthrob. The married father of two wore a small, white T-shirt, a la Marlon Brando, and blue jeans that were tight; I mean Robert Plant tight.

Together, the brothers put on an almost-two-hour show that rocked and popped like it should, thanks in part to Isaac's firebrand guitar heroics and Taylor's expressive and longing vocals. from: Review: Hanson's return to Mayfest packed with emotion. by Matt Gleason. Tulsa World. May 21, 2005.


They were joined onstage by Leon Russell, and Steve Ripley of The Tractors.

A few years ago, Hanson turned heads after joining both Bob Weir and the Other Ones onstage. In deed, the former teen-idols have aged surprisingly well, turning out a handful of roots-oriented albums. Last Friday, in their hometown of Tulsa, OK, the Hanson brothers welcomed another music icon to the stage, Leon Russell. A noted studio musician, whose credits include Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, and the Rolling Stones, Russell joined Hanson onstage for its encore at Mayfest. Nodding to their joint Oklahoma roots, Hanson and Russell performed a version of “Livin’ on Tulsa Time,” with Steve Ripley also joining in the fray. from: Leon Russell is “Livin’ on Tulsa Time” with Hanson. Jambands.com. May 23, 2005.

After Mayfest, Hanson concluded the Underneath Tour with eight shows in Australia and one in New Jersey. Later in the summer, they announced the Live and Electric Tour. On the eve of that tour, Hanson screened their documentary and spoke to students at USC.

They are just three brothers committed to music - the passionate kind of music that only 13 years and a brotherly bond can create. Now, the pop music group Hanson is visiting college campuses all across the United States to share its experiences in the industry to talk about its documentary, "Strong Enough to Break" and promote its newest tour, Live and Electric '05, kicking off at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. from: Hanson pulls into USC for college series. by Kate Palmer. The Daily Trojan. September 14, 2005.

2006


In January, 2006, the New York Times reviewed Hanson's documentary, Strong Enough to Break

The pop-rock trio Hanson is finally breaking through to a grown-up audience. All it had to do was split up with a record company and go to college.

On the group's recently concluded concert tour, the band of brothers best known for the 90's hit "MMMBop" played several universities and screened its raw documentary, "Strong Enough to Break," which depicts its tribulations with its former record label, Island/Def Jam. Think of it as Hanson's version of "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," the documentary that brought the band Wilco's tribulations to a whole new audience. Except the Hanson boys come across as well-adjusted young men, not moody artistes. from: They've Lost That MMMBop Feeling. by Peter Gerstenzang. The New York Times. January 8, 2006.


Zac announced his marriage to Kate Tucker.

Zac Hanson of pop group Hanson will marry longtime girlfriend, Kate Tucker, on Saturday in Atlanta, according to the group's publicist, Katie McNeil.

"The couple is planning an intimate ceremony with close family and friends," McNeil informed the Associated Press. from: Zac Hanson to Marry Longtime Girlfriend. Stephen M. Silverman. People.com. June 2, 2006.


Taylor and Natalie announced the birth of their third child, River Samuel.

River Samuel Hanson was born on Sept. 4, in Tulsa, Okla. "River is an incredible addition to our family," the new dad says in the Web posting. "We could not be happier!" from: Taylor Hanson, Wife Welcome Baby No. 3. by Stephen M. Silverman. People.com. September 18, 2006.

Isaac announced his marriage to Nikki Dufresne.

Isaac Hanson of the pop group Hanson married his longtime girlfriend, Nicole Dufresne, on Saturday in Oklahoma, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

The groom, 25, and bride, 22, wed in a traditional ceremony at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Hanson's hometown of Tulsa. from: Isaac Hanson Weds Longtime Girlfriend. from: People.com. October 1, 2006


Hanson presented their documentary, Strong Enough to Break, at the Hollywood Film Festival.

Sibling pop/rock trio Hanson takes viewers behind the scenes of its three-year struggled with Island/Def Jam while recording its 2004 album "Underneath" on the new documentary "Strong Enough To Break." The film premiered Oct. 22 at the Hollywood Film Festival. from: Hanson Hopes To Educate With New DVD. by Katy Kroll. Billboard.com. October 27, 2006.

A new Hanson song, "The Ugly Truth", appeared on The Van Wilder II Soundtrack.

The single "Great Divide" was released via iTunes. It was a benefit single, with all proceeds going to the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa.

Taylor's lead vocal conjures Michael Jackson at times, while a frantic splay of guitars and piano drive home the urgency of the message. Truly inspired, tight and certainly mature. from Review. Great Divide. by Chuck Taylor. Billboard. December 16, 2006.

2007


Hanson were special guests on an episode of Deal or No Deal.

The brothers three, best known for their super pop hit “MMMBop,” have taped an episode of the show. Host Howie Mandel brings them in to help a contestant on January 24th. As you can see from the picture here - Zach, Taylor and Isaac have all grown up rather nicely. from Hanson's Deal or No Deal. Access Hollywood Blogs. January 10, 2007.

The Walk was released in Japan. Hanson performed a series of preview concerts in the US, culminating in the NYC Supper Club "Evening With Hanson", featuring special guests.

Andrew W.K. played piano at Hanson's big Supper Club show last night. That was strange enough. And Harlem's entire Young Love Choir sang. But no one who joined the blond brothers onstage was louder than the roomful of Hanson fans. This spring marks the tenth anniversary of the sibling-pop trio's single "MMMBop" (yes, they played it), and every guitar solo, song introduction, and minor gesture to the audience elicited a wave of Woo!s louder than the last. Despite the single-digit weather, fans camped out on the sidewalk early to get in, as evidenced by the Starbucks cups dotting the pavement. from: Hanson Comes to New York: MMMBop Til You Puke. NYMag.com. March 7, 2007.

Strong Enough to Break was featured at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival.

"Ultimately, the Hanson story is one of triumph, not in sales, not in fame but triumph in that they broke free and chose a bold path that no other young artist has chosen. I hope more will follow." from Why Hanson is Cool and You're Not. (an interview with SETB director Ashley Greyson.) PopSyndicate.com. March 28, 2007.

Isaac announced the birth of his first child, Clarke Everett.

Isaac Hanson, the oldest of the three brothers in the band Hanson, became a first-time dad on Tuesday, the group announced on its Web site. from: Isaac Hanson, Wife Welcome First Child. People.com. April 7, 2007.

The single "Go" was released in the UK on April 16.

Their new single ‘Go’ shows us just how much Hanson have grown up in recent years. Reminiscent of their last album, a beautiful indie-rock ballad seeps soothing melodies that make us fall in love with our favourite brothers all over again. While the b-side ‘Ugly Truth’ turns everything up a notch, a song with an anthemic feel, the sort that was made to be played on big stages everywhere. Go Review. Sarah Moyes. RockMidgets.com.

The Walk was released in the UK on April 30.

What this album happens to be, is really, really good. Even to non-Hanson fans. Review. The Walk by Sean Heslin. Entertainmentwise.com

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the band's breakthrough release, Middle of Nowhere, the band planned a special fan event at which they would re-record the album acoustically.

Isaac, Taylor and Zach [sic] Hanson told their fans, "To anyone who is a fan-club member we hope you will be joining us in Tulsa OK on May 5th, we are really looking forward to the recording of 'Middle Of Nowhere Acoustic'. For a few years now we have had the idea to record acoustic albums to go along with each studio record. Since this is the 10th anniversary of releasing Middle Of Nowhere, we felt recording an acoustic album was the right way to recognize what awesome fans all of you have been. We look forward to seeing you there." from: Hanson To Re-Record Breakthrough Album. by Daniel Zugna. Undercover.com. April 23, 2007.