The Neighbourhood
Wiped Out!


3.5
great

Review

by Nathaniel USER (31 Reviews)
December 15th, 2015 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Better in every way

The last few years have been quiet for the Neighbourhood. After all the hype and love for "Sweater Weather" dissipated, these California kids dug themselves into the underground, touring extensively to smaller and smaller venues, and dropped an almost completely ignored mixtape before disappearing all together. Then, with little fanfare outside of their instagram account, they reemerged with what appears to be a definitive statement on the winter surfing season. With their sophomore LP, they continue their brand of genre sandwich, meshing R&B, Indie rock, and Hip-hop. "Wiped Out!" sounds like a band becoming more comfortable as musicians as they experiment with new textures. While not all of the experiments work, the band blows their last album out of the water with something far more artistic and ambitious.

With "Wiped Out!", Jesse Rutherford and co. have learnt the importance of space. On "I Love You.", the music was claustrophobic and suffocating. Here, on "Wiped Out!", they let the music breathe, stretch its legs, and balance itself out. Dreamy, beachy soundscapes dominate the background while Jesse croons about his love life in the foreground. Production-wise, no instrument overpowers another, and each composition is more about the feel of the atmosphere than it is on the hook. The guitars roll off each other like waves, keys twinkle like stars in the night and the bass guitar thrums like darkened southern California freeways, all set to a metronomic beat. I've always been a sucker for nuances, and here The Neighbourhood have learnt how to not only nuance their music, but to add enjoyable twists on songs that would otherwise be boring and overindulgent. One of the best examples is on "Single" which takes a toy piano and a ukulele loop and builds a whole ballad on top of it, sounding especially inventive for a band that takes no risks whatsoever.

Unfortunately, this album cements this band as a bit of a one note act - good for a specific type of mood. There is a little variation in the many of the songs, giving them all a similar feel. This works both in their favor and against. It gives the album cohesion, but as a result few songs stand out on their own. In addition, the track "A moment of silence" is completely pointless, as it is simply 30 seconds of silence. After Cry Baby though, the dreariness that plagued "I Love You" begins to set in and some tracks begin to blend together. The droning latter third of "The Beach" goes on for far too long, and the echoey vocals in "Greetings from California" are annoying at best and headache inducing at worst. Even the best track on the record, "Cry Baby", sounds like it was stolen from The Weeknd's latest album.

Despite the aforementioned negatives, this album is easily the band's best work and songs like the hip-hop referential "R.I.P. to my youth", anthemic "Cry Baby", and tender "Single" are sure to be staples in set lists for the foreseeable future. All of these songs are catchy in some way or another, and the instrumental work is consistently catchy and interesting, if not repetitive. Even the lyrics, while vapid in topic are well written. "Wiped out!" probably will make few end of the year lists but it's a decently fun record that's sure to satisfy an urge every once in a while until the black and white curtains rise again for the band's third album.



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user ratings (93)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
December 15th 2015


25033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ooh cool this needed a review. really liked a couple songs off this album (Prey, Cry Baby, R.I.P 2 My Youth) but yeah 2nd half of the album really dragged hard. also the bullshit opener A Moment of Silence is cringeworthy at how "artsy" they are trying to be.

anyways good review man, really well written! posd

TooManyFriends
December 15th 2015


3171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. good album. a little pretentious but much improved over their debut.

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 15th 2015


32737 Comments


I never really gave this a legit chance but it sounded like a huge downgrade over their debut to me

Digging: Low Roar - ross.

dmp3131
December 16th 2015


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Cry Baby sounds like a Weeknd or Drake song. But still great. Checking this now, so far much better than their previous work, which was only good for a few moments of greatness.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2016


25033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

RIP 2 My Youth and Prey I still jam.

theNateman
February 12th 2017


3803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So this is still nice.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2017


25033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

its p nice I don't come back to it all that often tho. maybe in the summer I will

wwf
April 7th 2017


6496 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its too bad that there wasn't a huge single off of this cause even though this band will never top sweater weather, this is a significant improvement over the debut



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