Release Date: Apr 22, 2014
Record label: Mercury
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
During the time between Neon Trees' 2012 album Picture Show and Pop Psychology, frontman Tyler Glenn went through some big changes, including seeking therapy and coming out as a gay man. It's not surprising, then, that the band's third album is also its most confessional, but Glenn and company still manage to have fun with their emotional crises. The album's song titles read like advice column headlines, and the name Pop Psychology itself is a clever and accurate manifesto: for Neon Trees, the therapeutic value of dancing on your troubles to the perfect pop song always comes first, even when Glenn is pouring his heart out.
On their two hit singles – 2010's "Animal" and 2012's "Everybody Talks" – Neon Trees refashioned post-Strokes dance rock into unshakable radio pop. If the Utah band was from New York or L.A., its slick simulations of neo-New Wave might seem cynical. But there's something sweet about kids from more or less the middle of nowhere getting their little piece of modern rock.
A band coming off a string of hit singles faces a daunting task. If it goes back to the well once too often, it can be derided for stagnating. If it takes a left turn, fans may bemoan the change of pace. Neon Trees, the Utah band behind the unavoidable “Animal” and “Everybody Talks,” seem to have split the difference on their third effort.