Will The Neighbourhood Ever Change?

Photo courtesy of AXS.

Photo courtesy of AXS.

Some of the songs discussed in this article contains explicit and sensitive content.

Do you remember 2014? Middle school, braces, and unoriginal music tastes everyone thought were so edgy? The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” could be called a symbolic song of those years. But whatever happened to them? A couple years later, their song “Afraid” came on the radio on occasion, but that was about it.

Surprisingly, they are still out there. After three years of radio silence, their new album Hard to Imagine the Neighbourhood Ever Changing dropped on November 2nd.

The Neighbourhood has a very specific sound, somewhere in the realm of alt-rock-indie, but also somewhere on a different planet. This new album sounds quite similar to their previous three albums, The Beach, #000000 & #FFFFFF, and I Love You. They have vocals that almost whisper, and drums that are nearly unchanging within each song. Hard to Imagine the Neighbourhood Ever Changing keeps these comfortable themes, but adds songs with raps and record scratches that call in nostalgia of “90s Hip-Hop.”

All that being said, it has an overall basic sound. While each song does have unique elements, they all sound very similar: there is little musical variation from their past three albums.

Some songs like “Dust,” “Kill Us All,” “24/7,” and “Beautiful Oblivion” have new elements, such as the record scratches and raps, which make them exciting and fresh. However, a lot of the songs could be switched from one of their albums to a different one of theirs and it would be hard to notice.

In some ways, this lack of diversity is boring. Come on, guys! Spice it up a bit! On the other hand, it could fit a very specific mood that is hard to match. The Neighbourhood is perfect for rainy days or when you never want to leave your bed.

The best songs that follow their distinct sound are “Nervous,” “Paradise,” and “You Get Me So High.” They have lyrics that fit with their well-known vibe, unchanging percussion, and their whispering approach to singing that is iconic for their sound.

While many of the 21 tracks flow seamlessly with their previous albums and some bring new sounds to the band, a lot of their album is in a very specific middle ground. Songs like “Scary Love,” “Flowers,” and “Sadderdaze” also have The Neighbourhood’s iconic whisper-singing, but to a lesser extent. They have more guitar and electric, “80s Pop” sounds. They have bass riffs and the unchanging percussion is sharper.

Hard to Imagine the Neighbourhood Ever Changing holds true to what The Neighbourhood’s fans know them as, but it also showcases new elements that may take you by surprise.

This new album may not be very different from their previous music, but that is not always bad. Some people like it when bands change up their sound, but a lot of people despise it. Hard to Imagine the Neighbourhood Ever Changing leaves us thinking that is true, but sometimes consistency brings comfort in an ever-changing world.