Since the return from their hiatus and previous single releases, Neon Trees have finally dropped their latest album I Can Feel You Forgetting Me as of today. Personally, I enjoy music that can uphold a dichotomy between instrumentation and lyrics, especially when it involves sad or somber lyrics set to an upbeat tempo– something you could say is one of Neon Trees’ trademarks.
Setting the overall tone for this release came with a quick attack, as the very first line on the album is “I’ll admit that I knew you weren’t the one but I cried myself to sleep.” Lyrically, “Nights” is melancholic and introspective; musically, it’s rather upbeat.
If there’s any song capable of convincing you I Can Feel You Forgetting Me being a breakup album that you can also dance to, “Used To Like” could put that right in your face. Personally, I loved this song from the first time I heard it– so much so, I started anticipating the album right after. Out of all the singles Neon Trees released for this, “Used To Like” was definitely the one.
“Holy Ghost” starts off with a melodramatic riff, and for a second, makes you think the album will slow down. Three songs into the album, this is definitely the most layered track thus far and the equally catchy prechorus and chorus drive the song.
Industrial sounds introduce you to “Skeleton Boy” and a bouncy rhythm kicks off the chorus that eventually builds to include layers of guitar and synths. Being fully transparent, this song wasn’t very redeeming lyrically and I was more focused on the instrumentation while listening to it.
I Can Feel You Forgetting Me slows down and continues the ode to synthwave on “Mess Me Up,” an open letter to a past partner. My favourite part of this song is the prechorus. On “Living Single,” singer Tyler Glenn compares feelings of loneliness and codependency to addiction, alluding to how it’s emotionally harder to endure than a relationship with a vice that comes in the form of substance.
Better late than never, “Everything Is Killing Me” makes it clear the album–and its respective track order– is conveying a narrative. Listeners can interpret this song as Glenn’s moment of self-admission, where he’s finally admitting the hard times he’s discussed up to this point on the album have taken a toll on him to the point of needing to simply let go and live. “Going Through Something” plays off the same theme of self-admission, reconciling the trials one undergoes, and the need to overcome them. The saxophone was a nice subtle addition to the song’s instrumentation, and it was well executed– not overdone, and not executed in a way that would make it sound musically behind the times.
“When The Night Is Over” explores the topic of loneliness alongside the vicious cycle that happens in the midst of yearning for companionship. “New Best Friend” closes out the album on a shimmering, balladic, and grandiose note. It’s pretty short and sweet so if you really enjoyed it, you could start it right back at the beginning.
I Can Feel You Forgetting Me was repetitive and didn’t wow me as much as I had anticipated it to, but nonetheless, this album has objectively strong points: catchy choruses, songs listeners can take a liking to immediately, and a dreamy, nostalgic vibe fit for the summer about it. I won’t discredit the fact this album does a great job of storytelling in a blunt, easy to follow manner, either. Neon Trees have diligently carved out a distinct sound for themselves in the realm of pop rock, and the band makes it apparent how it’s matured since their last release; stream I Can Feel You Forgetting Me and hear it for yourself.
Favorite tracks: Nights, Used To Like, Going Through Something
2. Used to Like
3. Holy Ghost
4. Skeleton Boy
5. Mess Me Up
6. Living Single
7. Everything Is Killing Me
8. Going Through Something
9. When The Night Is Over
10. New Best Friend