From the ear to the heart: The Neighborhood

I was just re-listening to The Neighbourhood’s Wiped Out when I re-realized just how beautiful the album is. So here’s a review that I wrote almost half a year ago (the album was released in Oct. of 2015), and maybe you might (read: you really should) check out this collection of wonderfully haunting songs as well. (The songs were written as a way for the lead singer to cope with the death of his father.)

The Neighbourhood, an alternative rock band from California best known for its hit song “Sweater Weather” back in 2012, has released its second studio album, Wiped Out! on October 30. Their first album, I Love You, established them as talented lyricists who catch the beautiful yet bittersweet atmosphere of their melodies within lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s breezy vocals. And Wiped Out!, though certainly different in style, still attests to those characteristics that first attracted fan three years go.

Wiped Out! begins with “A Moment of Silence” — 30 seconds of absolute silence (which, just a warning, still costs you $1.29 on iTunes) — but immediately leads in “Prey”, a cautious love song that plays on the two homonyms, prey and pray, against an upbeat instrumental. The title song, Wiped Out!, doesn’t appear until the fourth track, a 6-minute melancholic tune to the fears of a young adult — loneliness, unfamiliarity, uncertainty and confusion. The dreamy vocals on “The Beach” balances those darker and stronger on “Greetings from California,” once again proving The Neighborhood to be one of the few bands able to capture the diversity of moods and feelings.

But the album, with its sandy shorelines and black backgrounds, is essentially a bildungsroman, accumulating through each song the emotions, fears and desire of the youth and culminating into the final track and lead single, “RIP 2 My Youth.” No longer the boys who crooned to girls to “let me hold/Both your hands in the holes of my sweater,” this group has indeed entered into a new neighborhood: “I was naive and hopeful and lost/Now I’m aware and trapped in my thoughts/And you could call this the funeral/I’m just telling the truth.”

Find the album on iTunes or Amazon

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