Release Date: Apr 23, 2013
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
Although the words to the song Afraid – "You tell me I don't like you/ Fuck you anyway, you make me wanna scream at the top of my lungs" – might suggest the Neighbourhood's singer and main lyricist, Jesse Rutherford, can't be older than 14, this LA outfit are actually in their 20s. And there's more in the same pubescent vein as their debut album progresses, right up to the penultimate A Little Death, in which he implores, "Touch me, yeah, I want you to touch me there". Unsettlingly, this is conveyed in an enervated half-whisper, and enveloped in downbeat melodies and drum-machine beats that simultaneously evoke Foster the People, Coldplay and Limp Bizkit.
Los Angeles outfit the Neighbourhood seek crossover success with their 2013 Columbia debut, I Love You.. Over the course of 11 tracks and 46 minutes of music, the Neighbourhood fail to lock into one definitive style, straddling elements of indie-rock, pop, hip-hop, and R&B. The ends of the quintet’s “eclectic” means is mixed as opposed to being triumphant.
The Neighbourhood's debut album I Love You is equal parts stadium-sized indie rock and slick electronic pop with a little bit of contemporary R&B thrown in. In other words, it has everything it takes to appeal to a fan of modern pop music in 2013. Especially if that fan is into Maroon 5 and Coldplay, because a large percentage of the album sounds like Adam Levine fronting that band as they churn out one wide-screen midtempo ballad after another.
Los Angeles can at times seem to be a hotbed of bands who are defiantly pop acts dressed up in indie/alternative rock clothes. And if you’ve heard one, you’ve heard them all. But are the hotly-tipped quintet The Neighbourhood different? The way they have chosen to present themselves, compared by many to Lana Del Rey in terms of style, is cause for intrigue.
Historically, the combination of rap and guitars has had a low success rate. For every Beastie Boys, there are many, many more Limp Bizkits and Linkin Parks. Latest in the long line of those forging indie-hop are The Neighbourhood, though despite their lofty visions and unorthodox genre-merging, they’re really more of a pop band than anything else.
With their 2012 emergence, The Neighbourhood sported black-as-tar, film noir imagery, chock-full of Alfred Hitchcock odes. Turns out they’ve stayed true to the cinema-bred darkness, ‘I Love You’ having one of the most misleading album titles of all time.When frontman Jesse Rutherford spits lines like ‘it hurts but I won’t fight you / you suck anyway,’ you can sure as hell bet he’s not reciting his wedding vows. The album closes with a track called ‘A Little Death’.