Beach vibes and relaxing tunes are a pleasant surprise in Wiped Out! from the alternative group The Neighbourhood.

After its smash hit “Sweater Weather” in summer 2013, The Neighbourhood seemed to stray from its alternative roots. After the release of its first album, I Love You, The Neighbourhood released a mixtape titled #000000 & #FFFFFF, which featured multiple rappers and lacked its usual gloomy-pop sound. It was definitely an unexpected move from the band — one that was pretty controversial among fans.

I was nervous for Wiped Out! to come out initially, thinking I wouldn’t even like the second album. I Love You is one of my favorite albums, but I sort of hated the mixtape and most of the collaborations. So when the album was released Oct. 30, I begrudgingly gave it a listen. It immediately became a horrible decision.

The first “song” of the album is “A Moment of Silence,” and that’s exactly what it is — for 30 seconds. It’s so pretentious that it’s embarrassing. When I realized that it was going to be an actual moment of silence, I wanted to shut down my entire computer. I carried on somehow, and luckily the band redeemed itself.

The first actual song is called “Prey,” whose beginning sounds like a combination of gospel and gothic and then bounces into a beachy, hazy dream. It features a continuous guitar riff and The Neighbourhood’s signature heavy drums. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice has an almost R&B quality to it throughout the album that makes listeners want to lean back and close their eyes.

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My favorite track, “Daddy Issues,” has drawn out lyrics and brings back the melancholy sound expected from The Neighbourhood. The way it’s sung lulls the listener back into a peaceful state, and the instruments aren’t as much of a driving force. “Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines” begins quietly but grows in strength through the instrumental periods of the song.

“Ferrari” rips the listener from that soothing state and pulls them into a tune with a harsh beat and a rocky voice. The song is almost jarring because of the difference from the rest of the album. The first single from Wiped Out! is featured as the last track, which seems entirely out of place. “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” is a fun song, with a more pop and R&B sound that makes it the most exciting track on the album. The song is such a strong piece that it seems foolish to push it so far back in the tracklist.

Wiped Out! is reminiscent of a lazy day of the beach, and the instrumentals are even more pronounced throughout the album. The album made me feel drowsy just from the relaxed theme and cool sounds. Overall, the album was a good comeback, especially after that mixtape. Does it compare to I Love You? Maybe not, but it can definitely stand on its own.

Rating: 3.5/5

@lynanneclaire

lv586814@ohio.edu