First came I’m Sorry…, then came Thank You, (Is that even correct grammatically? The titles legitimately feature the punctuation.) and now arrives I Love You. The Neighbourhood have gone from a somewhat-known and loved band to an adored apparent “boy band” and have multiple Tumblrs dedicated to them. That’s how you know when you’ve made it.

The band’s constant desire for everything they do to be as black and white as possible is clear through the album, for some reason easily being able to only imagine the songs as black and white. They’ve also managed to separate themselves from the albums that center around love and how great and super it is while in a relationship and how crappy and bad it is when it ends.

While ‘How’ focuses on God and questions existence, ‘Afraid’ becomes immediately relatable for many with the fear of becoming replaced. When ‘Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh) describes the paranoia of being alone and accepting defeat, ‘Staying Up’ reflects on insomnia at its worst. The band’s lyricist and lead singer Jesse Rutherford goes from pillar to post and seems to refuse to sit on one generic type of song.

Lead single ‘Sweater Weather’ is a song that everyone would’ve updated their MySpace profile pages about circa 2006, but since MySpace is now a lost art, have replaced with constant Tweeting, Instagramming and the aforementioned Tumblring. The song features lyrics that just keep hitting your ears with their smooth nature and with a strong flow. Key lyrics people will eventually have tattooed on themselves feature ‘Use the sleeves on my sweater/Let’s have an adventure/Head’s in the clouds but my gravity’s centered’ and ‘Sometimes the silence guides our minds/To move to a place so far away’.

Then there are the other love songs such as ‘Flawless’ and ‘W.D.Y.W.F.M’. However, neither song is cutesy or charming. Both circle around stories of hurt and adoration.

‘Flawless’ is the tale of a girl getting too ahead of herself too soon and the protagonist (assumedly Rutherford himself) going with the flow in order not to hurt her but knowing and expecting ‘love to destroy’ them, as the lyrics suggest.

Personal favourite song W.D.Y.W.F.M (which stands for What Do You Want From Me) is about a relationship that needs to end for both parties but one of the two not wanting to let go. The chorus puts a spin on the generic break up line ‘It isn’t you, it’s me’, asking ‘Maybe this is all that I can be/But what if it’s you/and it wasn’t me?’. The relationship sounds toxic but the song is pretty.

Album closer ‘Float’ is another stand-out, suggesting that the band refuses to just ‘float’ on their success and that they’ll continue to ‘swim’ and put the muscle into it. Analogies galore.

The band has a successful formula working for them and they’re incredibly smart musicians for planning ahead. The album in its entirety is relatable and beautiful and easily one of my favourites of 2013 (thus far).
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