Neon Trees | Pop Psychology | Rating: 8/11 |
Upon first listen, the newest album from Neon Trees blends into one sugary pop smoothie. Perfect for a hot day, it’s cool, refreshing and goes down easy without any major surprises. Play it again though and words start to float to the surface. It gets personal, sometimes too personal. Every song starts to read like a diary page broken up into verse. That’s where the album’s strength lies.
Lyrics “your kisses taste so sweet / but then you hit delete,” is a perfect description of “Love in the 21st Century,” the first track off Pop Psychology. The story continues with “Text Me in the Morning” and on to “Sleeping with a Friend.” The song titles are almost chapter headings. They get more subtle towards the end as the songs turn introspective, culminating in what the protagonist has learned through all of this, “You are never gonna get / everything you want in this world / first things first / get what you deserve.”
Musically, there’s nothing exceptionally catchy like their big hit “Everybody Talks.” There’s nothing that demands attention like “Animal.” The music is a vehicle used to deliver the lyrics. That’s not to say that it isn’t good. Far from it. Neon Trees have so mastered their craft that every instrument, every note functions exactly as it should – to emphasize a thought, inspire an emotion, create a mood. Nothing distracts or takes away.
Overall, Pop Psychology is exactly that: a recollection of experience and emotion set to catchy music. It’s a solid release that on the surface, may not make much of an impact. But dig a little deeper and something will resonate.