Album Review: “Wiped Out!”

Album Review: Wiped Out!

The Neighbourhood’s newest album “Wiped Out!” attempts to steer its music into new territory with mixed success.

Rating: 3.5/5
Release Date: Oct. 30

Blending psych, R&B and pop, The Neighbourhood’s second album, “Wiped Out!”, invokes beachy vibes in a laid-back, soulful manner. The Southern California-based band’s second album maintains the distinct tone of its first, while developing a darker sound through edgy, moody lyrics.
Formed in 2011, The Neighbourhood rose to fame with its 2013 single “Sweater Weather.” With the band’s monochrome aesthetics, mellow vibes and original music, The Neighbourhood is reminiscent of The XX and more upbeat music, creating a unique sound that attracts a wide range of listeners. Its much anticipated second album, “Wiped Out!”, released on Oct. 30, maintains the same moody, atmospheric feel while attempting to incorporate grittier, more substantial lyrics.

“Wiped Out!” provides a more high energy feel than “I Love You,” but it maintains the same minor, bittersweet tone of the first album. “Wiped Out!”, the album’s title song, most resembles the tone of its first with lyrics such as “lost and afraid … I don’t wanna be alone.” The heartbeat-like rhythm conveys the deep emotions present in the song, successfully honoring the band’s core sound. “Greetings from California” also harkens back to the band’s Southern California roots, pairing ukulele background noises with beach recordings. The haunting echoes of “What’s in the water?” effectively accentuate the song, conveying the relaxed vibe that The Neighbourhood does best.

Tracks like “Ferrari” and “Baby Came Home 2” attempt to add dimension and diversity to the album’s style, yet underwhelm. “Baby Came Home 2” combines the low key “ooh ahs” predominant in “I Love You” with a quick yet melancholy beat that gives the song a minor tone for an initially upbeat song. This fails to pair well with the overall beachy tone that persists throughout the song, resulting in a disjointed and fragmented piece. “Ferrari” begins with loud, strange noises meant to mimic the sound of a revving engine, yet it doesn’t manage to do much else musically. It’s a song meant to intrigue; while one can appreciate the creative effort, the grating sounds come off as trying too hard to change the band’s musical presence.

Despite the songs that fall flat, the album successfully captures listeners’ interests through mellow vocals juxtaposed with more lively beats. In “Wiped Out!”, The Neighbourhood preserves an airy, emotional sound, despite attempts to diversify it in an ultimately mediocre album.

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