‘Wiped Out!’ is a record of the NBHD’s evolution and presents a fuller and far more grown-up sound for the band. It draws on a lot more RnB influences than previous albums, and is major evidence of a newly cultivated sound.
Edgy alt-rock collective, The Neighbourhood are back from a well-deserved break from the phenomenal success of their previous single ‘Sweater Weather’ to deliver their latest album: Wiped Out! The result, is a cool So-Cal inspired record that’ll make you want to permanently relocate to a remote beach somewhere distant from all of humanity.
The album, though needing no introduction, begins with a rather unnecessary 30 second track entitled ‘A Moment of Silence’, which literally is 30 seconds of, well, silence. Needless to say, a relatively pretentious start to the album, but in no means a true reflection of its content to follow.
The next track, ‘Prey’, reminds us all exactly why we love The Neighbourhood so much. It’s catchy in a not entirely conventional way, and still manages not to stray too far from their usual urban soul roots.
‘Cry Baby’ is direct, conversational and consists of lyrics that even the average Joe can relate to. The chorus is the perfect blend of harmonies and doesn’t hesitate to showcase the vocal range that vocalist Jesse Rutherford is capable of. It’s easy-going, chilled out and incredibly mellow. Similarly the title track ‘Wiped Out!’ is reminiscent of those calm vibes, paired with a quirky rap feature from Jesse and an insane focus on those kitschy instrumentals that The NBHD do so well (potentially too well though, after about 2 minutes and 34 seconds of what sounds suspiciously similar to white noise, I think we’ve had just about enough).
Much of the album however, encompasses that same chilled atmosphere. So much so, that it can be hard to differentiate between the tracks besides lyrical content. Each track is without a doubt a similar mix of peaceful vocals, subtle instrumentals and a somewhat husky overtone. The album as a whole can be described as a slow paced RnB-meets-indie crossover.
Standout tracks on Wiped Out! include ‘Daddy Issues’; an ode to the somewhat Freudian psycho-analytic disorder, proving that the Neighbourhood are far from simple-minded and endeavour to shed light on some of the more unconventional issues of our darker inner-thoughts. Another, entitled ‘Single’ is arguably reminiscent of Trey Songz’ ‘Slow Motion’, and is a personal favourite on the album nevertheless. It’s a different sort of sound for The NBHD, yet still paired with their whispery backing choir and The Weeknd-esque vocals, simply gives us another reason to love them.
The closing track, ‘R.I.P to My Youth’, is the perfect end to the album. It evokes a sense of confidence, independence and maturity. With its rebellious sounding nature and undeniable change of pace and tempo; it is proof that The Neighbourhood are back, and with more to say than ever before.
Wiped Out! is out now via Columbia.