Love songs express beguilement (“Can’t Stop”), a desperate longing for companionship (“Wish That I Was There”) and a desire to fix ailing romances (“A Song to Sing,” “If Only,” “Save Me”). An anti-drug line on “Sure About It” warns, “Did you see the man with the cocaine load/It’s on sale for the price of your soul.” On “Love Song,” Hanson empathetically relates a tale of lost love in an attempt to offer hurting fans hope. “Dying to Be Alive” resists survival mode as it advocates proactive, vibrant living and reaching out to others.
Minor. A boy seems reluctant to dump his deceitful girlfriend (“In the City”). An obscure gun metaphor puts a ding in “You Never Know.”
“I see you hand in hand with another man,” cries a more mature, tortured vocal on This Time Around. Sounding battered by life’s hard knocks, Isaac, 19, Taylor, 17 and Zach, 14, still manage to remain positive, though not as beamish as on earlier efforts.