All posts by Sarah Laico

ALBUM REVIEW: “Wiped Out!” – The Neighbourhood

After seeing The Neighbourhood live for the second time this past September, I could scarcely contain my excitement for the release of their second album, Wiped Out!. Released on October 30th, the album follows up The NBHD’s first full-length, I Love You., released back in 2013. Equally strong in content and variety, Wiped Out! has been my go-to album recommendation for anyone looking for an alternative album that satisfies from start to finish.

Beginning with “A Moment of Silence,” the album starts with a literal 30-second track of silence before launching into “Prey,” one of the several songs I was exposed to at their concert. In classic NBHD fashion, the track starts with faint background sounds, perhaps of a chorus, along with the dim intimations of a guitar. Then the tambourine and bass come in, producing an irresistible beat to complement frontman Jesse Rutherford’s smooth tenor voice and honest confession “Something is off, / I feel like prey, / I feel like praying.”

The album continues its momentum with “Cry Baby,” relying on another catchy chorus and beat that has even been placed recently at the end of Alt Natecea58df5d71ee05cec203993c6c32cb.600x600x1ion’s Top 18. The song is framed around a common theme of the Neighbourhood—loving a girl that you shouldn’t love, or at least has quite a bit of baggage. This theme is woven throughout the album, particularly in “Daddy Issues,” “Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines,” and “Single.” Also prevalent is the band’s connection to the West Coast in songs such as “The Beach” and “Greetings from Califournia.” Often, one can hear waves crashing distantly towards the end of the songs, combined with electrical feedback. Listening to these songs and their lyrics, it comes as no surprise that the band used birds, palm trees, and highway roads as imagery at their concert to bring the music and its message to life. Moreover, along with this imagery, the juxtaposition of easy-going, relaxed beats and deep emotional expression seems to foster a profound connection with listeners while also making them feel small and distant, a strange yet somehow comforting sensation.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Wiped Out!, however, is the final song, “R.I.P. 2 My Youth.” The tambourine and drum once again lead the song, until Rutherford comes in with the title from the get-go: “R.I.P. to my youth, / And you could call this the funeral. / I’m just telling the truth, / And you can play this at my funeral.” Combining Rutherford’s R&B-style voice, a hip-hop beat, and electronic waves, “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” encapsulates the album’s feeling of hopefulness despite internal struggle and compositional vibe. It’s relatable enough without becoming discouraging, and it will occupy your mind for days after listening to it. If you have to listen to one song from Wiped Out!, it’s this one. But I don’t know why you would only listen to one
—after all, everybody deserves a moment of silence and a trip to the beach before laying their youth to rest.

SONG OF THE DAY – “That Green Gentleman” – Panic! At the Disco

I chose “That Green Gentleman” as my first song of the day for a number of reasons. Not only is it a fantastic Panic! throwback–backwhen Panic! -That-Green-Gentleman-panic-at-the-disco-855150_600_400wasn’t just Brendan Urie–it also reminds me of simpler times. When I was in grade school, my good friend Alexa would let me listen to her iPod with her on our busrides to and from school. These rides were 45 minutes long and covered winding roads over two different mountains. It was wearying at times, so to lighten things up in the afternoons, we’d have “karoake day,” where we’d essentially sing at the top of our lungs to whatever Fall Out Boy or Panic! song we were currently obsessed with. Alexa just recently texted me a link to the music video for this song and after re-watching it, I couldn’t help feel nostalgic for those busrides, and the lyrics had never rung more true: “Things have changed for me, / And that’s OK, / I’m on my way.” If you get the chance, give the music video a watch–it’s a good one.