BY ELENA VALDEZ
The Neighbourhood has finally released their full-length album, “The Neighbourhood,” on March 9, 2018. Having reached the point in their career in which they have defined themselves, the self-titled album provides a definition of the group itself.
As a teaser to their upcoming full-length album, they released two EPs (a collection of five songs) predating it: “Hard-EP” in September of 2017 and “To Imagine-EP” in January of 2018. Some songs from these EPs made the cut for their self-titled album, including “Sadderdaze” and “Scary Love.”
By mixing the old with the new, as well as the unknown, the UK alternative pop band maintained their melancholy pop persona by curating an album to truly represent who they are as musicians, and even as people.
By mixing the old with the new, as well as the unknown, the UK alternative pop band maintained their melancholy pop persona by curating an album to truly represent who they are as musicians, and even as people. The lyrics dealt with themes that varied from love to sadness and the overall complications represented in relationships. Within each of the twelve songs on the album, there is at least one mention of another special someone.
Beginning with the track, “Flowers,” a more upbeat and retro tone is set, yet as the album progresses, the tone turns darker and the songs are increasingly more morose. The final track, “Stuck with me,” preserves the romantic despair and ties the whole album together, displaying a majority of the collection’s unique tones and vibes. The overall track placement creates a natural flow, which can blend together and make it hard to distinguish one song from one another.
The final track, “Stuck with me,” preserves the romantic despair and ties the whole album together, displaying a majority of the collection’s unique tones and vibes.
Aside from the music itself, the cinematography of the music videos accompanying the album is eye-catching and equally pleasing. The music video for their single, “Scary Love,” is colorful due to the use of neon lights, emulating the cover art for the “To Imagine- EP.” However, the brightness does not overpower the darkness of the night the video is set in, as they’ve mastered a contrast in bright colors and shades of gray – a theme also evident in their music.
The album did not make the Billboard Hot 100, but they earned a spot on iTunes’s alternative music charts at number four. Regardless of the ranking, this album is one any fan of The Neighbourhood would enjoy, as it is pure in authenticity and an enjoyable listen.
The backing vocals and instrumentals are easy on the ears, but the lead singer’s voice is so clearly autotuned. At times, it seemed like a robot regurgitating cliche poetry rather than artistry. In the song “Blue,” there is a techno feel that just doesn’t fit in and clashes with the rest of the song’s components. The entirety of “Softcore,” sounds the same way, and overall the autotune takes away from the rest of the album. To a certain extent, it is a necessity to complete the song, but the excessive use was completely unnecessary.
The autotune takes away from the rest of the album.
The chilling melodies in the verses and effervescent notes in most of the song’s choruses make up for the lacking vocals. Inner workings of a mind clouded by love, lust, and fear are heard clearly amongst the distorted guitars and catchy lyrics. The instrumentals create the feeling more than the lyrics in “The Neighbourhood’s” case. A powerful start and soft ending conclude the collection nicely, leaving listeners satisfied.
- Distinct aesthetic that sticks to their roots
- Soothing to listen to
- The vocals are clearly lacking
- The songs are on the verge of sounding the exact same
Photo courtesy of Dork