Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Review: The Neighbourhood, I Love You.

The Neighbourhood I Love You Album Review Up and Coming New Artist Songs Music Lyrics
The Neighbourhood’s debut album has been blowing up in the young music scene since it’s release in late April (making this review a pretty belated!).  I first heard “Sweater Weather” and was excited to hear the rest of the album.  Before I could, I saw a lot of negative reviews, which surprised me, as even though I’d only heard one song, I liked what I heard.  What I think is really important to note with this band, and why the critic’s ratings have been quite low, is because they’re clearly a teenage band.  Yes, the lyrics are shallow and it doesn’t match up to the classics and even some of the better bands of the moment like Mumford & Sons or The Black Keys.  Yes, they’re trying a little too hard to be edgy, when in reality there’s nothing hugely original about a lot of the songs on this album.  However, they have produced some good songs that I feel are being overlooked.  Before I heard Phoenix’s new album, Bankrupt!, most of the critical reviews that I had read were praising it, but when I heard it I was monumentally disappointed! Clearly, it’s a matter of personal taste.

The album begins with a slightly gothic, synthesizer-based intro, entitled “How”.  After this, “Afraid” demonstrates why their lyrics have been so heavily criticized;  “You’re too mean, I don’t like you, fuck you anyway”.  Okay, not the most creative or intellectual way to get your point across!  Luckily, the album improves after this.  “Female Robbery”, “Sweater Weather”, “Flawless” and “W.D.Y.W.F.M.?” are the highlights off the album and I would recommend downloading these four rather than the entire album.

I have a French friend in Paris who didn’t start learning English until she was 13.  She said there were a lot of English songs that she really liked before she learned English and didn’t hear them again until after she spoke it fluently.  She then explained how she experienced a bizarre form of déjà vu because when she heard them years later she was then able to understand the lyrics.  For me, I think I would like this album a lot more if I didn’t speak English!   For example, I would have had a very different reaction to the song “Float” if I wasn’t distracted by "They show you how to swim / Then they throw you in the deep end"!  Really?  This was the cleverest metaphor for life that they could come up with?

However, this is their debut album and they’ve gone from nothing to a huge success in a very short time.  They’ve still got room to grow and their success from here seems to be limitless in terms of the fan base that they have already accumulated as well as the direction their music can go in.  I think that after this album they will veer away from the indie/hip-hop genre that they’ve delved in towards the mainstream.  True, the Beastie Boys found a happy medium with the genre, but since them no bands come to mind that have been equally successful with it.  Not that The Neighbourhood sounds like the Beastie Boys, but there’s a slight indie/hip-hop influence.  It’s just enough to be noticeable, but I think their work after this will be much more pop-inclined.

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