So, here’s my review of Neon Tree’s newest album Picture Show. I’m rating each song on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best song I’ve heard—lol not quite—and one meaning, um, this song kinda stinks. Then, I’ll do two things I like, two things I don’t like, just to keep it short and sweet, considering it’s a pretty long album. Got it? Cool.
HEEEREEE we go….
1. Moving In the Dark. 9/10 Like: The fiery, passionate vocals and lyrics “Set fire/with just a little spark/just how it goes/when you’re moving in the dark”; the minor key tonality. Dislike: That’s hard, actually. I really like this song. Um, I guess the background vocals.
2. Teenage Sounds. 6/10 Like: the steady drum beat and the vocal effects. Dislike: the heavy guitars at the beginning, just a little too metal-garange-band for me and the drum-lines are kind of like “woo!” in your face. Yeesh, calm down. Though, I do agree with one of their lines “We’re sick of everyone trying to be famous.”
3. Everybody Talks. 10/10. Best song on the CD, hands down. Yes, this has been played on the radio and I think I see why. This is the most polished, cool song. I like the vocal runs and the dance-ready beat. Very good. No dislikes here…
4. Mad Love. 8/10 Like: the softer vocals, it’s a nice side to see/hear. The harmony between the male/female voices. Dislike: the drums and guitars kind of overpower the vocals, which is terribly unfortunate.
5. Weekend. 7/10 Like: his growly, punk-rooted voice, the guitar lines. Dislike: The song is kind of forgettable. There’s nothing very memorable about it, including the lyrics.
6. Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night) 10/10. Second best song on the album; I’d quite like to see this song go mainstream, mostly because it makes me look cool for liking it. Just kidding. J Like: the collab with Kaskade proved to be insanely full of coolness. I like the laid-back vibe with the lyrics, the way Tyler—the lead singer—projects his voice, the electronica elements, the fact that the drummer Elaine is a little more chill and that the song straddles the alternative/Top-40 soundtrack very well.
7. Trust 7/10 Like: The jazzy-funk rhythms, the vocal effects. Dislike: Not much, really, just the over-all sound is a little obnoxious after a while.
8. Close To You. 8/10 Like: The song is a very mellow, with their cool, creative guitar lines and heartfelt lyrics blending together perfectly. It has a 70’s sort of vibe to it, with a 2012 twist. Dislike: Occasionally, the song seems to pick up the pace and then calm down. I would have recommended picking one tempo, at least with this sort of effect they’re going for, but that’s just my opinion.
9. Hooray For Hollywood. 7/10 Like: very energetic song, I like the synthesizers in the background and the syncopation. Dislike: The la-la section, that’s pretty annoying. Nice song, though.
10. Still Young 6/10 Like: “Love is a game we could play/ even if only for today.” I like that line; I like that line a lot. Dislike: This sounds like a mass-produced, movie-soundtrack-esque track that I would expect to hear on the end of some medicore movie flop. Just sayin’
11. I Am The DJ 2/10 Okay, I’ve been working on this for forever—I had to split this post into two writing sessions—and I’m feeling tired listening to this CD. Not going to lie, I went into this thinking, “Ooh, I love Neon Trees. ‘Animal,’ ‘1983’ and ‘Everybody Talks’ are great songs. I bet their other stuff is good too.” Wrong. It’s kind of starting to go downhill the more I listen to it. It’s just very forgettable. I think they put on too many tracks that sound like each other. They probably should have done 7 or 8 tracks intead of 14 blah songs. This track in particular stinks, badly. It’s just kind of meh. I’m only finishing this because I can’t quit. I push myself. I’m a pusher. (Nice little Mean Girls reference, no?)
12. Show 8/10 Like: Simple, elegant guitar line. Tyler’s vocals are better on this track. Dislike: a little repetitive. An improvement, for sure.
13. Tell Me You Love Me 4/10 Sure, I love you. Now can this album end? Just kidding…not really, but whatever. Like: Not much. This sounds just like all the other songs, probably in the same key too.
14. Take Me For A Ride 8/10 Like: The bass line, the steady, light drum line, and the beautiful background vocals. Dislike: Tyler’s voice is not very versatile. It sounds the exact same in every song. Other, talnted singers that I like are able to push their voices to produce a falsetto, project it, whisper, change keys with ease, and know when a little vibrato turns into too much. Oh, well.
Conclusion: Neon Trees have experienced some success on the main charts, and I used to wonder “Why have only two of their songs done really well, but not the rest?” I got my answer. This was painful. It was like listening to a mainstream, overproduced album that most likely required little prep time. I enjoyed a few of their songs, but they got a very poor score, based on my scale I created. If you like them, good for you, but I think I’ll stick to their few, good songs and my other bands. J
So, next week is going to be a review of Asa Taccone’s project Electric Guest, hopefully they get a better score. ;)
Comment with suggestions for albums I should review! :)
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