Neon Tree’s “Picture Show” is no sophomore slump. With electro-pop like rhythms and synth-rock melodies, this Utah-based quartet stays true to their sound.
The album starts off with the soulful beats of “Moving in the Dark” and continues the rest of the work with fast-paced, old Hollywood-esque lyrics. The album slows down about half way through to give the band the opportunity to show a softer side, in which they prevail with ease.
Neon Trees also plays with the ideas and aspects of being a teenager in the world of gossip with their hit-single “Everybody Talks.” The themes of young and fleeting love are also ones that reoccur throughout the album.
Because one might find this new album to be one for the carefree partiers, the lyrics may appear to be unoriginal, shallow and almost obnoxious. With the focus mainly on the world of appearance-based love, designer drugs, weekend parties and sex, one can conclude that the band did not mean for “Picture Show” to be an overly emotional pouring of past relationships and personal experiences. It is just for the fun of it.
While lead vocalist Tyler Green is known for his belting of the chorus of “Animal” from their first record “Habits” released in 2010, he does not disappoint on “Picture Show” with his powerful voice. Although the powerhouse belting is not as plentiful as is in their first album, Green impresses with softer, more soothing crooning in songs such as “Still Young” and “Close to You.” It is obvious that Green has grown as a musician for the sophomore album.
Neon Trees puts together a fun and energetic album that is not only easy to dance to, but pleasing to the ears. While it may not have a too many emotion-packed ballads, “Picture Show” certainly provides enough excitement for a good night of dancing in your room.
With this second album sounding so much like the first (themes and melodies included), one’s dose of catchy electro-pop could be considered fulfilled for the time being. While Neon Trees does a good job with creating a fun sound for audiences to move to, their third album should move in a different direction.
Tiffany Do can be reached at tiffany. email@example.com.