Apr 22, 2013Although the words to the song Afraid might suggest the Neighbourhood's singer and main lyricist, Jesse Rutherford, can't be older than 14, this LA outfit are actually in their 20s. And there's more in the same pubescent vein as their debut album progresses.
Apr 22, 2013If the production had been a little more restrained and the band had written a few songs that didn't sound like they were meant to be played by U2 after a couple days spent listening to Top 40 radio, the album might not have been quite the heavy and ponderous thing it is.
May 13, 2013Much as their guitars cascade and their lyrics have a dark undertow, there's too much heavy-footed stodginess, notably in the plodding Staying Up, to make them truly engaging. [Jun 2013, p.103]
May 29, 2013The critic reviews completely boggle my mind... I am in disbelief that they believe this albums deserves those low scores. The album does have (very few) moments when the lyrics sound a bit amateur, but the good by far outweighs the bad here. From start to finish it is a great listen with no fillers. The album is produced by the same guy that produced Lana Del Rey's records and can definitely be heard here, but it has a darker and more masculine tone that her work. My favorite tracks are hard to pinpoint because there are so many great ones, but I would have to choose Afraid, Female Robbery, and Flawless. If you want an expertly produced, lyrically unique, moody, atmospheric album, then give I Love You a listen... You may be as pleasantly surprised as I was.… Expand
Dec 23, 2013I can't believe how incredibly facile the critics are that reviewed this album were.
If you were to actually listen to the themes the reason for the apparently "immature" writing become quite obvious. This album is autobiographical, starting in the preteen years, the loss of religion/faith (How), pre-teen and teen relations and rivals(Afraid and Everybody's Watching Me), puppy love (Sweater Weather), still working on Let it Go. Then moves on to childhood reflection in Alleyways, where the teen starts to think back on simpler times in life. Then more mature relationships problems reveal themselves in WDYWFM, and first true love in Flawless. Female Robbery deals with depression in the aftermath of losing that first love. The songwriter then shows how they dealt with that depression through music in Staying up and reflecting on the childs past as they move on into adulthood with Float.
You might notice that the use of sophomoric cussing and phrasing starts to change at the end of the album.
All the songs are EXTREMELY strong musically, and the mix of Indie and hip-hop type beats really make for a fairly unique sound that fails to bore. The vocals are pleasing and the pacing of the album makes for a good full listen.
What makes for a better freshman album than the actual freshman perspective?… Expand
Apr 26, 2013This is a pretty solid album. The critic reviews don't do it justice. Yes, the lyrics are ridiculously shallow, but the overall sound of the band is very easy to listen to and enjoy. I made an account just to review this album and show that it is really not that bad. They are obviously talented and good at writing catchy songs. I'm just trying to warn those deterred by the low score. THIS IS NOT A BAD ALBUM. The critics reviews are exactly that...critical. If you are younger and enjoy pop rock akin to the Summer Set, Foster the People, and Neon Trees, this is for you! Give it a chance!… Expand
Dec 1, 2013I like this album, but it didn't quite blow me away like debuts other buzzed up new indie-pop bands did. My favorite thing about this album is the sound. This band has a fantastically distinct musical style, creating this very moody atmosphere coated in reverb while still for the most part retaining a good amount of accessibility & pop appeal through some very catchy hooks. The vocals, while never absolutely incredible technically, are done in a nicely understated way that compliments what's going on around it, and the almost rap-like cadences are a nice touch. Meanwhile the drums sound huge & cacophonous, and the guitar is more meant to enhance the song through some high jangly leads that are a little buried in the mix rather than being the driving force behind it, which is a pretty interesting songwriting strategy for an indie-pop band. Admittedly though, the bad side of this is that in a few tracks (specifically in the verses) it seems like the production is doing more to make the song engaging than the band themselves, making for moments that are enjoyable to listen to but ultimately forgettable.
I'd say the lyrics are easily this album's weakest area. Sometimes they're too vague & ambiguous to stand out from other “I'm depressed” songs, while at other times they're so irritatingly immature it's baffling why they weren't rewritten in favor of something with a little more subtlety or creativity. Even though these issues are pretty much opposites, I can link them to the same problem: trying way too hard to appeal to angst-ridden teenagers who act like they're in clinical depression to get attention in every negative situation. And considering that I'm a teenager, it's not a good sign that I was able to catch that bit of pandering to my demo. Some songs individually have their own little confusing messages that don't really know where they're going. “How” seems to start out questioning the logic of some atheists/agnostics, then by the chorus is whining about being an outcast. Then there's “Let It Go” & “Alleyways”, which detail growing up in a rich city & having fun as a kid, but don't really have as much to say relating to that as the depressive vibes & occasional vague claims of “struggle” want us to think.
I honestly think the area of love & relationships is where The Neighbourhood work best in, as shown by “W.D.Y.W.F.M?” & “Flawless”. They explore a dysfunctional relationship in a way that can come off immature at times, but in a way that's understandable & kinda likable. And the topic of depression & self-doubt is occasionally tackled with some level of creativity. Like on “Female Robbery”, where the narrator reaches such a crippling low point that he wouldn't have a problem with being kidnapped in his sleep & removed from his apparently miserable life. You could say the background for this is a bit unexplained, but it's certainly more effective emotionally than other attempts at conveying despair found here. And other songs on the back half like “Staying Up” and “Float” do a decent job at showing imagery in this subject. While I wouldn't call I Love You. a bad album by any means, I was a bit disappointed after loving the first 2 singles. They're got a nice sound going for them that can serve them very well in the future, but they're gonna have to work on making the songwriting as a whole just as interesting.
Top 5 tracks: Sweater Weather, Female Robbery, W.D.Y.W.F.M?, Flawless, Everybody's Watching Me
My Facebook review page: That Non-Elitist Music Fan… Expand
May 2, 2013"The Neighbourhood" isn't the next monumental indie rock band to land on the map, (Think Vampire Weekend, or The Black Keys), and their debut album isn't more than all encompassing. All of the songs are kinda shallow, and like Fall Out Boy's new LP, "Save Rock and Roll", it's generic, solid catchy pop rock. I can tell these guys have talent, but there's really nothing new here to explore. While I don't really think it got the critical attention it deserved, your average pop rock fan could easily get hooked on "I love You".… Expand
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