Review: The Neighbourhood — The Neighbourhood

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at 2:14 PM
Review: The Neighbourhood — The Neighbourhood by Roman Sabella

★★★☆☆

As where “I Love You” saw The Neighbourhood exploring the realm of alternative rock accompanied with tinges of R&B and hip hop, “Wiped Out!” saw them hanging out at the beach and blasting psychedelic pop tunes out of the back of a Winnebago. This time around has seen a large shift towards what can be described most completely as lo-fi PR&B.

This album comes off hot on the heels of the EP duo “Hard” and “To Imagine” which were released in September and January respectively. Each of these EP’s featured five new songs showcasing the two sides to the bands new sound.

While “Hard” catered more to the alt rock fan base, “To Imagine” took on a more dangerous sound with tracks resembling something along the lines of 80s new wave drenched with dark, brooding undertones.

These two EP’s ultimately make up four of the twelve songs on the regular edition of the album, so it’s fair to say that fans would have a good idea of what to expect when the rest of the album dropped on March 9.

As for the album as a whole, it is a solid effort and is a fantastic album, given the fact that you have never listened to their sophomore album “Wiped Out!” which, overall, had a more cohesive feeling than this time around.

As where “Wiped Out!” had a nice mix of familiarity and cohesion that connected the songs together, this time around the album feels far more like twelve singles than a full album. That being said though, I still like it a lot.

If you don’t tend to listen to this genre of music, you may not have heard anything about the Neighbourhood since their single “Sweater Weather" hit the charts back in Fall 2012, but this album may be just what the band needs to pull in new crowds. I’ll say it here, but I could easily see their single “Scary Love” taking a spot in the Top 40 with its very accessible and easy to sing along lyrics.

Now speaking of lyrics, as usual, singer Jesse Rutherford croons about topics consisting of social and romantic insecurities, questioning motives behind others actions and even just a blatant song about deviant sexual behavior (i.e. “Blue”). This is what fans come to expect from the band and it works well, so why change?

Sonically speaking, there are some really intriguing sounds delivered throughout the album from the acoustic guitar laden track “Sadderdaze” to the haunting drone of the synth track in “Scary Love,” I left feeling entertained.

If you’re a fan of vaporwave, retrowave and the lo-fi sound in general you’ll definitely want to check this album out. It’s filled with 80s pads, heavily distorted guitar, 808 drum beats and heavily synthesized vocals.

However, if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I advise you look elsewhere, as this is the entirety of the album.

With its lo-fi vinyl crackle filled tracks, dark 80s undertones and ample use of compressors, reverb and delay, this album is sure to please anyone with an ear for the obscure sound of modern R&B or alternative pop. 

Standout tracks: “Scary Love,” “Void” and “Stuck with Me”

Stream below:

Roman Sabella can be reached at musics.spectator@gmail.com.

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
 
Find Us on Instagram