Just as I stuff junk food down my mouth to reduce the heavy onset of stress due to exam week, I found Neon Trees’ new album Pop Psychology, and after a few run-throughs I’ve determined that just as junk food temporarily fills an empty void, junk music can do the same.
I’ll be clear on one point, Pop Psychology does not create any revolution or innovation in music. If you’re looking for some deep, soulful music in which tons of emotion and effort were put into each track, you are quite possibly the farthest away from that area as you could possibly get.
Personally, I believe this whole album was written around the idea of writing as many “catchy” songs as possible and hoping one of the tracks figuratively climbed it’s way towards the top of some bestseller list. In this area, Neon Trees has succeeded, as their single “Sleeping With A Friend” is a track I hear played at least once a day on modern hits radio stations.
This focus on general “catchiness” may get them one, maybe two hit singles, but it makes the whole album, especially when put altogether, sound like one giant mess of useless verses and catchy choruses. Almost every song sounds exactly the same aside from “Unavoidable”, a refreshing track featuring a duet between two of the band members.
Every song has the same exact poppy drum beat paired with a sorry excuse of a guitar riff for an opening verse leading to a predictable explosion of music once the chorus hits, followed up by returning to the drum beat and guitar riff for a lousy second verse only leading to our inevitable return to that lazily-written chorus we heard only 30 seconds ago. Repeat this process ten times and you have Pop Psychology.
Regrettably, I have to admit, Neon Trees did eventually get a song stuck in my head. The only problem is I’m not sure which one is stuck up there being that all the songs on the album sound relatively the same.
Going into this review, I didn’t expect much, and I didn’t receive much so I can’t say I’m disappointed in the album. In no way did I expect, or want some deep music that made me think and to be honest, that’s exactly what people need sometimes. Pop Psychology’s purpose isn’t to inspire masses to contemplate themselves or their surroundings, but to just provide some simple poppy, repetitive fun that the modern music industry has grown used to. Score: 5/10
Alex Troutt/Senior Staff Writer