The Neighbourhood transitions into a new style with the release of their new album Wiped Out!. The band’s sophomore album drifts towards R&B and shies away from their past. Normally working with Lana Del Rey’s producer Emile Haynie, her absence on the album changes up the landscape music’s landscape. This time, they recorded with I Love You co-producer Justyn Pilbrow which makes Wiped Out! feel like a change from their old ways. You can tell they’re growing into mature musicians and adding some complexity to their music.

“Prey” carries the gusto of a rock song with a strong electric guitar throughout the track. An eerie wailing kicks off the song, which expands into the heavy guitar riff. The song distorts and twists both the vocals and instrumentals, giving roughness to Jesse Rutherford’s voice.

“The Beach” is one of the slower paced songs on the album. Sleepy synths and a mixed drum beat help keep the song mellow and laid back. The vocals turn into the emphasis of the track as they overtake other elements on the song. The gentle strumming in the backdrop adds another touch to the song and gives it a SoCal sound.

“R.I.P. 2 My Youth” changes up the dreary landscape with a heavy bass drum backed by looping synths. The vocals shift from dark and powerful to soft and deep in the chorus. The song is an energy boost for the album, but it arrives too late to pack a real punch.

The Neighbourhood’s album is hurt by its disorganized track list. Songs like “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” are buried towards the back of the album, blocked by fillers and b-sides. The mixture creates jams with emotions where there should be smooth transitions. Wiped Out! carries the fate that some sequels fall victim to. Even with the bold style change to an R&B oriented sound, The Neighbourhood fails to fully capture the product they had on I Love You, but reinvent their image in the process.

Sean Lynch

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