The Neighbourhood’s angsty arrival in the alternative music scene paired with inconsistent chart toppers has many fans hitting this young band with the “one-hit wonder” back-handed compliment.
Fast-forward to fall 2015, The Neighbourhood have improved their gloomy, depressing attitude into a more pristine, sophisticated sound. “Wiped Out!” released Oct. 30, keeps the same dreamy tone, while simultaneously incorporating moody, more substantial lyrics.
The album opens with “A Moment of Silence,” which is just that; a 34-second pause. The idea of starting an album off with silence sounds vaguely pretentious, but fits in perfectly with The Neighbourhood’s sensitive persona.
Wiped Out! contains sad and hypotonic remnants of the bands first album, “I Love You,” which are highlighted in “The Beach.” The album’s title track begins as a hazy R&B song, and later transforms into a familiar emotional ballad that mimics the first albums dreary core sound.
In fan-favorite “Daddy Issues,” The Neighbourhood’s frontman, Jesse Rutherford, really opens up and makes visible the effects his father’s death has on him. The lyrics are so detailed and raw it’s almost as though we are reading a page in Jesse’s secret journal. In this song he coos, “I’m not entirely here, half of me has disappeared,” displaying the bond him and his father shared.
In the last album, The Neighbourhood had many uptempo songs, strategically tempered with downtempo ballads symbolizing emotional anguish. Wiped Out!’s strength is the opposite, many slower songs rescued by faster, uptempo songs such as “Cry Baby” and “Daddy Issues.”
Overall, Wiped Out! plays into The Neighbourhood’s strengths and acts as a great follow-up album, giving long time fans a warm feeling of satisfaction that only a favorite band can provide.