The Neighbourhood|I Love You
22 April 2013
This elusive crew of gents from just outside of Los Angeles has spent most of the past year disguised behind black & white photos, cryptic symbols and spontaneous old fashioned music videos. Their release of “Sweater Weather” just over a year ago seemed to take the internet by frustration as any other information or material from the band was almost impossible to find. Finally, with much anticipation from a global crew of “hoodlums,” (the very rad title for their dedicated fans), The Neighbourhood released the debut full length (or perhaps love letter to patient listeners) I Love You.
The album opens with a mesmerizing sample of spacey resonance before an easily anticipated crashing of percussion bursts. The track titled “How” truly alludes to the inquisition about the pure goodness found just within the first two minutes of the record. Next, “Afraid” is a wrenching story of insecurity, with the ever-seducing vocals of lead singer Jesse Rutherford paining through “When I wake up, I’m afraid, somebody else might take my place” before angry self-rebuttal of “You’re too mean, I don’t like you, fuck you anyway.” Lyrics so simple at the surface are heard through unimaginable beauty with beats and vocals that haunt and hypnotize. Down the track listing, of course is that year-old classic “Sweater Weather” never seeming to lose its grasp.
“Alleyways,” one of the record’s most addictive introduces a wall of reverberated sound loops. Choirs, sirens, bells, maybe even actual spaceship engines. The guitar riff within the chorus sings its own song imbuing the atmosphere of a journey. “Flawless” finds The Neighbourhood at their sexiest (if at any moment they are ever not), while “Staying Up” is a gritty tune about sleepless procrastination. “I can’t even leave, so I sleep in the basement, making up rap beats” is belted over echoes of dripping pipes and fittingly clanking basement sounds joined by their instruments. Reflective coos of waves and birds close out the album on “Float” letting I Love You drift back off into the celestial universe of noises it belongs in.
If anything is for sure about The Neighbourhood, it’s that everyone needs to have this album spinning throughout their summer. It is also certain that a year’s wait for something full and official from this group felt unbearable, but at the moment seems justifiably worth it.