Indie album showcases versatility in new sound
Released March 9, The Neigbourhood came out just as Spring Break started. I knew I was about to spend a relaxing week at home, and an album by The Neighbourhood, one of my favorite bands, was exactly what I craved. However, I wasn’t entirely pleased with what I heard.
This self-titled album shows a different side of the band. While The Neigbourhood maintains its typical relaxing flow within the songs, there is a greater emphasis on electronically-influenced music. Specifically, “Softcore,” the fifth song in the album, features techno background music with heavy, very obvious autotuned voices. Although autotune is not uncommon within their songs, this song has a very unfitting sound which I, as a big fan of the band, didn’t find appealing. I listen to The Neighbourhood for their alluring, more natural tones.
Furthermore, this album, unlike those in the past, was slower than I expected. It was hard for me to sit down and listen to the album all the way through. I had to take a break in the middle, which is not something I have done in the past. My lack of interest in the songs may be due to their repetitive nature, where each song is essentially the previous song but with a few lyrical changes. While I wasn’t pleased with the overall structure of the album, this does not mean that there aren’t individual songs worth listening to within the album.
Regardless of the experimental songs within The Neighbourhood, I was still able to enjoy parts of the album. As a fan, I can still appreciate the similarities of older songs from the band that shined through. One of my favorite aspects of this band is that they bring a slow comforting tune to the majority of their songs, mainly with stories of rebellious teenagers in love. The third song in the album, “Nervous,” adhered to their typical storytelling, which I found inviting. This song describes the nervousness that comes with opening up to love, and is more in touch with their usual alternative sound. Another song that caught my attention was the second song in the album,“Scary Love.” Following their previously mentioned trend, this song describes the intensity and uncertainty of falling in love. Both songs highlight The Neighbourhood’s strengths, reassuring their longtime fans that the old, desired sound of the band hasn’t completely changed.
Altogether, this self-titled album features a variety of songs, ranging from those that fall under the band’s expected sound to those that make the band more versatile. Whether you are a fan of The Neighbourhood or not, there is most likely something for you in this album. With the overarching message of how we need to be loved in order to be happy, this album provides a calming, yet intriguing experience fit for a lazy Saturday afternoon.