For Neon Trees, the colors might be fading a bit early.
The four-piece, new wave band based out of Provo, Utah has seen some commercial success. With their first single, “Animal,” climbing to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the alternative chart, the band has slowly slipped in to become a household name.
Neon Trees newest release, “Pop Psychology,” will satisfy current fans of Neon Trees, but will leave new listeners with a bland, overproduced, new wave record.
The album starts out strong with its rocker “Love In The 21st Century” inviting listeners to get up and dance to the catchy synth lines and syncopated drums. The recording is crisp and the band has no problem finding a groove.
From that point on, the album never seems to find footing, as all the songs blend together. The following tracks “Text Me In The Morning” and “Teenagers in Love” have a similar song structure as the opening track and the only thing that seems different are the lyrics.
“Pop Psychology” capitalizes off of an adolescent cliché. With songs about teenagers in love or hating your significant other’s best friends, you might find these exact words in the texts of high-schoolers or an angsty Myspacer’s status update.
The band has no problem communicating its message, which relates to individuals dealing with the woes of adolescence. The only problem is they try doing so in an unoriginal manner with overproduced beats in the background.
The record does have its strong points, one of which is the musicianship displayed by the members. The band has no problem creating synergy with one another and writing catchy licks
“Pop Psychology” is at its strongest on the final tracks “Living In Another World” and “First Things First.” The first of these provides a playful song with on point vocals while the other is Neon Trees’ only step into originality. While both still fall to clichés unimpressive choruses, they redeem themselves through catchiness and song structure.
Bottom Line: Fans of Neon Trees will love this record due to the fact it is the epitome of the band’s sound. First time listeners on the other hand will have a hard time relating to the record and will be turned off by the unoriginality and overproduction.
Favorite Track: Love In The 21st Century