It is no surprise that people were amped to hear a new full-length release by Neon Trees since the music scene hasn’t heard one since 2014. So, the lead up to this release just extrapolated the anticipation. Thus, let’s dive in to see if this record was worth the 6-year wait. From the jump, it is heard that Neon Tress is bringing the heat in terms of something very important: the groove. On their first track, it is heard that the band creates this groove that will become the basis for almost every selection on the record. Providing this consistency allows them the room to toy with other musical nuances instrumentally and vocally. However, having the same basis for the majority of the work may push listeners away slightly, for the album, as a whole, may feel redundant. Aside from the initial groove, the band includes their characteristic sound in terms of vocals. This occurs in the range in which the vocals sit as well as how the vocals and approached and left. There are moments where the vocals are the main event, either supported with or without instrumentals. Technically speaking, this tactic is strong when they want the lyrical content to be the main focal point, which would connect to the idea of reliving the same groove throughout every track on the composite. Additionally, the moments the band plays with the influx of instrumentation creates the varying levels of contrast, which helps to elevate specific moments during each selection. Other musical nuances that help to elevate specific moments fall when the instrumentals provide small instrumental runs that just glisten over the track. Overall, I am giving this album a 3.75 out of 5 stars. Yes, I know I rarely give records a score that deviate from the 0.5 house, but this album sits in such an odd seat that the 0.75 was necessary. In general, the album as a whole provides strong musical moments, where the instrumentals and vocals are strong, but they are overly repetitive; however, the band’s top tracks for this record help to elevate the overall scope of the album. This is because those musical moments are innovative, groovy, breath-taking, and those selections make you want more. If the band would’ve provided more moments like that, this album would’ve been unstoppable.
“Holy Ghost”, “New Best Friend”, and “Nights”
The majority of the tracks fall on the make of this record follow the traditional sound of Neon Trees. However, there are a few tracks that stick out amongst the pack, and these are those tracks. These musical moments peak compared to the composite, for they are the ones that mix the beloved Neon Trees sound, the modern alt-pop sound, and the striking sound of the 80s. Now, most of the selections on this album have at least a dash of all these approaches, but the above songs? The take the perfect blend of everything and create musical moments that can’t be skipped, unheard, nor forgotten. I would give this entire album a listen from front to back because it is a vibe, but if you just want a preview: I’d start here.
When looking at the album artwork at first glance, it can be said that the image is so striking, especially when one connects the image to the title of the record “I Can Feel You Forgetting Me”. Additionally, the dark twisted connection that is found between the two is a step that is a tad progressive for Neon Trees. This is seen through a person sitting on a couch in a dark lit room (the lighting provided is a mixture of browns and reds). The person is sitting faced forward, fully covered in a bed sheet to portray a nod to the old-school Halloween costume of a bed sheet ghost. On that honor alone, viewers will be urged to take a dive into the music that falls on the inside. Thus, let’s turn towards the tunes to see if the connection between the music occurs to see if Neon Trees created the true rule of three. Without diving into the heavy details of the record, it can be said that this album provides listeners with a vibe that is established on track one, and it is driven throughout the entire make. This mood resonates well with the brownish/red color scheme, for it the warm tones mixed with the dashes of bright colors resonates with the brighter musical moments that are generated through a darker tonal center. This darker tonal center allows the band to mess around with a variety of musical influences both instrumentally and vocally if they wanted to. Additionally, even though a lot of the lyrics found on the album are sad and reserved, which connects to the person on the front cover, they are presented in a glistening way. This connects to the bright stabs of red that occur due to the color scheme that is warm-washed on the front cover. In general, I would say that the instrumental music connects to the color scheme, and the lyrical content connects to the person resting on the front, and the mixture of the two is what creates the full experience. Overall, I would say Neon Trees created a connection from art to music that works well for the journey that they chose to give to their listeners this 2020 musical year.
*”I Can Feel You Forgetting Me” was released on July 24th, 2020 through Thrill Forever LLC.