ARTIST The Neighbourhood
ALBUM I Love You
LABEL Columbia Records
RELEASE DATE 23.4.2013
3.6 | 10
It wasn’t that long ago when you could find out any and all information about musical acts with a simple Google search. With the advent of Twitter and a whole generation growing up in the digital era now becoming today’s entertainers, anonymity has become synonymous with the music industry. Piecemeal information is made available sporadically throughout months, adding to the intrigue of some artists. Where did Lana Del Rey come from? What’s the deal with those creepy iamamiwhoami videos? What exactly is Lady GaGa? Is she an alien? Unfortunately, most times the mystery is the lone source of intrigue for these musical entities, wherein the likes of Rhye, The Weeknd, and The Knife are anomalies in that the music far exceeds the mystery.
Enter The Neighbourhood, the LA band that burst onto the scene with cinematic, black-and-white music videos set to the soundtrack of some extremely melodic tunes. “Sweater Weather” was one of the catchiest pieces of music released last year, and drew the mysterious band a cult following not unlike the buzz which surrounded Lana Del Rey after the release of “Blue Jeans” and “Video Games.” Also like Lana Del Rey, the momentum built up from those pre-album releases came to a screeching halt with the release of their debut album, I Love You.
Far too often the music smothers any life these tunes perhaps once had. The vocals take a turn towards emo on most songs, creating one of the most depressing, uninspired albums released this year. From the get-go, despair is thick in the air as “How” comes in with a resounding thud. “Afraid” takes the album from bad territory to worse territory, as the vocals and lyrics become more nauseatingly whiny. Things start to look up with “Sweater Weather” and “Let It Go,” by far the best things here. The slightly more hip-hop tilt of those songs is a much better suit for the band than the emo, turn-of-the-century MOR rock music we as a society have spent years trying to wipe from our memory.
I Love You, to put it frankly, is the work of a once-anonymous band that would have been much better suited staying out of the spotlight.