The Radar with Emily Obermeyer: To Imagine

One-hit wonders are a bit of a mystery. For many one-hit wonders, one song will get radio play, and then the artist will disappear off the face of the earth. Some of these artists manage to gather a small following of fans and slowly receive more radio play. For the recent band The Neighbourhood, they managed to establish themselves as a band with a smaller fanbase after finding success with a one-hit single. With the recent release of To Imagine, I fear The Neighbourhood will not be able to drop the label of a one-hit wonder.

The Neighbourhood is a band from California. They are most well known for their hit single, “Sweater Weather.” After a rather silent three years, The Neighbourhood has come back with two recent EP releases. However, I believe their most recent release, To Imagine, is a bit disappointing and lacks what makes a great comeback.

The EP starts on a sour note with “Dust.” This is a rather odd track. The pace is upbeat in a way that is almost overbearing. There are too many different electronic elements clashing at once on this track. On top of a beat that almost makes me feel anxious, the vocals and instrumentals are distorted in an overdone way. I feel this track is like trying to sit through a hurricane at the beach; it’s disastrous. This track has way too much going on, and it is not very enjoyable.

The second track, “Scary Love,” puts the EP back on track. While the electronic instrumental is a bit forced, the track is a huge improvement from the first. This rhythm is more relaxed and soothing, while the vocals here are just average. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford has a very distinct voice, but he does not use it to its full capacity. There’s nothing very special and unique to this track, but I still find it enjoyable.

“Compass” has the best instrumentals of the album. The vocals are a bit too altered for my liking, but I still find that this track is my favorite. This track contains a great instrumental that I find is the crown jewel of this album. The song has a relaxed instrumental sound and a unique bass line that is very enjoyable. This track is one that I will find myself coming back to.

After a pretty solid track, the album disappoints me and ends with “Stuck With Me.” I find that this track sounds like it was sucked right out of a tacky 90s album. This track has no traces of what makes The Neighbourhood so special. This track is nothing like their original sound, and I was very disappointed this was the end of this rather underwhelming EP.

The puzzle pieces of this release did not fit together for me. Some tracks had moments of greatness, while most lacked uniqueness and creativity. This EP lacks the spark that The Neighbourhood tends to have. I wish there was more consistency overall. This kind of album is what makes a one-hit wonder band. There is one good track, and the rest don’t live up to the same standard. While I hoped The Neighbourhood could break the mold of a one-hit wonder band, this EP makes me fear that they will not.