Released March 9, The Neighbourhood’s third studio and self-titled album is full of love songs that don’t sound like typical love songs. The album melds new sounds of pop synthesizers and a familiar dark bass to create a slightly dissonant, yet cohesive, work.
The band chose an unconventional way to promote the new album: through two, five-song EPs as opposed to a series of singles. “Hard” was released in 2017 and “To Imagine” was released in early 2018. Not all the songs from the EPs made the album cut.
The album opens with “Flowers,” which starts with light, fittingly flowery synthesizers that would startle the casual listener, as it’s a departure from The Neighbourhood’s darker sound of earlier works such as its 2013 album, “I Love You.” The song isn’t danceable but is still playful.
“Scary Love” continues with this theme with a poppier sound and lyrics, “No one has ever cared for me as much as you do.” The band released a video for the song starring the eccentric Tommy Wiseau of the infamous 2003 film “The Room” in a psychedelic neon diner having no luck with love.
As the album continues, its sound becomes more reminiscent of the brooding, ethereal sound The Neighbourhood is known for. The deep bass and percussion run throughout the band’s music ground frontman Jesse Rutherford’s broad vocal range and wistful voice.
Throughout the full-length album, the use of synthesizers gives it an ‘80s feel as the background of songs such as “Softcore” is reminiscent of the musical score from the Netflix hit show, “Stranger Things.”
With the repeated use of synthesizers, the acoustic guitar opening of “Sadderdaze” is a breath of fresh air for the album. The track has the most diverse use of instruments, complete with violins and piano, adding to the dramatic, melancholy feel of the song.
The album closes with the track “Stuck with Me,” which was also the closing track for “To Imagine.” The track begins with a lofty synthesizer, but soon picks up with a fast-paced percussion and electric guitar. The album fades out to the chorus of, “You are stuck with me so I guess I’ll be sticking with you.”
“The Neighbourhood” is a representation of the band’s growth as it explores different ways to achieve a sound true to itself. The darker sounds offer an intriguing dynamic between the lyrics of love and lust, and the album shows the maturing of the band as a whole.
“The Neighbourhood” is available to purchase and stream on iTunes and Spotify.