so this kind of snuck up on me. my friend steven showed me the neighbourhood and their fantastic debut ep i’m sorry… towards the end of last year and i was instantly hooked; the marriage of r&b with indie sensibility was already massively appealing to me courtesy of the weeknd and all of his catalog that i had recently digested, so it was nice to have something else to supplement that unique genre. none of the blogs that i personally read care much about the neighbourhood (agenda much?), so i had no idea that the band was working on their debut full-length album or that it would come out so soon. it was completely by accident that i saw a spotify banner advertising i love you. the other day, marking the very first time the company’s feeble marketing techniques have actually worked on me.
stylistically, i love you. doesn’t diverge much from the path beaten by the band’s debut ep. downtrodden r&b is still a connecting element in most of the album’s songs, with a lot of emphasis placed by the drums on the backbeat. the first three tracks on i love you. largely follow this format before taking a left turn into “sweater weather,” the album’s lead single and current buzz-generator for the band.
the neighbourhood struggle to keep their musical content as fresh as their lyrical content throughout a majority of the album, and this isn’t really remedied until the final three songs. spearheaded by a remastered version of “female robbery,” the last quarter of i love you. finally proves that the neighbourhood are capable of diversifying their sound with successful results. despite the strong finish, an album supported by two songs already released on a previous recording doesn’t hold much weight in the critical realm. i love you. merely feels like a pained extension of i’m sorry, but maybe this is the necessary stepping stone for the neighbourhood to reach the next level. not like the band really even cares; as frontman jesse rutherford would probably say, “fuck you anyway.”