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Review: Pop Psychology, by Neon Trees

Pop Psychology, by Neon Trees

Rating:
Star4
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Neon Trees pack a punch with their pop tunes. This is visibly a great thing to have in recent times, as their latest singles have enjoyed not only radio-play, but downloads. In 2010, their single "Animal" hit #13 on the Hot 100. "Everybody Talks" hits #6 in 2011. That song has sold over two million downloads in the US.

Pop Psychology-slide0
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Neon Trees
Mercury Records

The lead single off Pop Psychology, "Sleeping with a Friend" has so far peaked at #51. The song is still inside the top 100 on iTunes sales and has hit number seven on the Adult chart, number nine on the Alternative chart, and number nine on the Hot Rock Songs.

The band released the music video for the second single, "First Things First", two weeks ago. The album, which was released last month, became their highest-charting album. It peaked at number six.

Neon Trees is currently touring the US. They will stop by The Norva in Norfolk, on May 19th; the National in Richmond, on May 20th; and 930 Club in Washington DC, on July 13th.

Read more about Pop Psychology:

The album is poppy, fun and witty in its simplicity. The chord progression and rhythmic flow is repetitive, but it makes it enjoyable and frivolously fun. Think of this as a great addition to a summer soundtrack. The lyrics speak loudly to a generation full of technological distractions, and romantic ineptness. Glenn Tyler, who wrote and composed all of the album, is aware, and winking his way toward a cemented rock-pop future.

"Love in the 21st Century" is an upbeat track which discusses the current state of relationships and reciprocity. 'Your kisses taste so sweet, but then you click delete/ I don’t believe making out is a dead romance/ I miss the days being kids simple holding hands/ I’m sick of wondering if you would ever call me back/ I check my 4 different accounts just to end up being mad'.

"Text Me in the Morning" has a great bounce to its instrumental introduction. The lyrics are almost leftover from the previous track. They feel uninspired, but they the track works well.

"Sleeping with a Friend" is a dreamy, mid-tempo electro-rock track. This merging of the line between friend and lover is effective and well written. Tyler Glenn coquettishly and honestly utters 'All my friends, stay up past midnight/ Looking for the thing to fill the void/ I don’t go out much like I used to/ Something ’bout the strangers and the noise/ And why leave when I got you, baby?/ It’s a risk but babe, I need the thrill/ I never said you’d be easy/ But if it was all up to me/ I’d be no trouble, hey, we’re in trouble!'.

"Teenager In Love" questions the point of romance. IT also verbalizes the feeling of being a young person (lacking experience) without being able to control the desire and emotion. 'There was a point when we were cool/ And it never went bad
Til you were holding his hand/ And I couldn’t say a word/ But who cares
Now I’ve been talking to myself/ Making up a new plan on how to get you back/ It’ll probably never work/ And I’m screwed.'

"I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends)" is a silly but connected track. Its lyrical matter discusses loving someone but not enjoying their friends. Its instruments and synthesizers bring a quirk flow to this track.

"Unavoidable" is sweeter in its lyrical content and execution.The female vocalist, Elaine Bradley, is featured here first on the album. They sing in unison 'It's unavoidable, you are a magnet/ I am metallic/ You pull me in'.

"Voices in the Hall" has a simpler chord progression which makes this melancholic ballad palpably visible in a very pop-oriented album. Glenn's vocals wow as his inner-vocalist takes precedent over his belting-rocker rests.Unlike the rest of the album, it has a slower pace which connects to the audience.

"Foolish Behavior" fastens the pace with its retro-eighties synthesized rhythmic backing track. 'Well you started out a stranger/ Foolish behavior brought us together.'

"Living In Another World" has a chorus which is catchier and more pop than the rest of the album. The 'whoaa' repetition is what makes it such.

"First Things First" is the second official single released. The beginning is reminiscent of boy-band harmonies. It talks about karmic cycles and 'first things first, you get what you deserve'. They also discuss how music is the only salvation and wanting to 'sing until I die'. The music video (part of the article) depicts the band with projections of old images from their individual lives. They talk about starting their world and musicians away from their families and homes. The track wraps this project very well. The sentiment, as part of this psychology, is to discuss very deep concepts adorned with poptastic tunes.

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Stand Up: Kevin J Thornton