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I Love You. The Neighbourhood Columbia

The Neighbourhood’s debut album, I Love You., is a surprisingly dark, synthesized, and slower overall listen than what the preceding tonality of its lead single, “Sweater Weather,” would have led you to initially believe. The entire album is cloaked in a forebodingly suspenseful compression that, for better or worse, integrates frontman Jesse Rutherford’s breathing into the performance and gives the percussion a punchy, low in the chest vibe.

“You are flawless / But I can’t wait for love to destroy us,” Rutherford laments on the track “Flawless,” The Neighbourhood’s indie ballad about the heartbreak that comes at the risk of any romantic relationship. The album’s second single, “Female Robbery,” seeks to bring back the vibe of “Sweater Weather” from earlier in the album and is the highlight of the album’s final act, with Rutherford anxiously trying to avoid a cryptic discovery: “Anything, anything / Don’t tell them anything.” “How,” the opening track of the album, features introductory synthesizer noises akin to a 30 Seconds to Mars song as well as equally existential lyricism: “How could you question God’s existence / When you question God himself?”

I Love You. works to establish The Neighbourhood’s cloudy tonality, but it will ultimately be up to listeners as to whether or not they find this sound appealing in the long run. Although undeniably distinctive, I Love You. fails to live up to the catchiness established by its lead single while lacking the ability to maintain interest, especially towards the mid-section of the album.

Roland’s Rating: 6/10 Key Tracks: “Sweater Weather,” “Female Robbery”

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