As UConn students were preparing to depart from Storrs for a much needed spring break, the indie rock band The Neighborhood quietly released a self-titled third studio album, which honestly felt a little colorless and forgettable. The album, which dropped on March 9, is a conglomerate of songs recycled from the band’s EPs “Hard” (2017) and “To Imagine” (2018), as well as new tracks that fill in the gaps. Most known for their hit song “Sweater Weather” in 2013, The Neighborhood uses familiar beats, monotone vocals, dreamy synths and reverberant auto tune throughout the entire album. Despite having a few catchy choruses, it’s this redundancy and lack of a new sound that make this album fail to particularly stand out in any way.
The eponymous album begins with the slow and hypnotic single “Flowers.” The song utilizes a floating melody and synth background as lead singer Jesse Rutherford explores the idea of being fake for the happiness of others. Overall, “Flowers” does a decent job at introducing the album but the slow melody and repetitive lyrics make it an average song at best.
Next up, “Scary Love,” “Nervous” and “Void” make up the best 11-minute stretch of this full length LP. “Scary Love,” which was taken from the band’s EP “To Imagine,” is an up-tempo pop song about being afraid to lose someone you rely on. The song uses crisp drum beats and a catchy chorus to produce this concert-ready tune. Subsequent singles “Nervous” and “Void” have the cleanest vocals on the album and display Rutherford at his best. The melodious choruses and lack of auto tune on the vocals make these two tracks my personal favorites on the album.
“The Neighborhood” mixes in a few more songs previously released on earlier EPs including “Sadderdaze,” “You Get Me So High” and “Stuck With Me.” While all of these songs are solid individually, they all have painfully similar elements including the beats, dreamy vocals, electronic synths and noticeable auto-tune. This causes most of the songs on the second half of the album to blend together and become indistinctive. Unfortunately, this means that possible hits such as “You Get Me So High” and “Revenge” are lost in the mix.
With the exception of “Revenge,” the rest of the new music on the album seemed relatively dull. The song added a much needed increase in tempo to the latter half of the LP. While most of the songs on “The Neighborhood” seemed to give off a dreary and hopeless vibe, in “Revenge” Rutherford switches the mood up as he sings about taking action against someone who hurt him.
Ultimately, this self-titled third studio album by The Neighborhood was nothing to write home about, but it still had its bright spots. Songs such as “You Get Me So High” and “Revenge” illustrate that perhaps the problem with this project wasn’t the individual song writing, but the construction of the LP as a whole. There wasn’t enough diversity from song to song to make a distinct impact on the listener. This gave the album a blurry and monotonous vibe.
While longtime fans of The Neighborhood may be satisfied by the recognizable sound and new material, this album isn’t memorable enough to gain any new followers. If you’re looking for a small sample of the album, “Nervous” and “Void” are probably the best tracks to check out.
Matthew Souvigney is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.