A new look

The Neighborhood’s latest album changes their style

The Neighborhood releases its fourth studio album. The album cover features lead singer Jesse Rutherford dressed as his alter ego, “Chip Chrome.”

Photo courtesy of Genius

The Neighborhood releases its fourth studio album. The album cover features lead singer Jesse Rutherford dressed as his alter ego, “Chip Chrome.”

Brenna Batchelder, Staff reporter

On September 25, The Neighborhood presented their fourth studio album, titled “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones,” to their fans. Known for their single “Sweater Weather,” the band reinvented themselves for their last album with their record label, Colombia Records. 

Switching up the norm the lead singer, Jesse Rutherford, introduced an alter ego. Rutherford took inspiration from David Bowie’s alter ego, “Ziggy Stardust,” to create his own called “Chip Chrome.” “Chrome” is a persona themed around technology.

The R&B alternative and indie rock band introduce a new theme with this album. Mainly known for their aesthetic of black and white, they switch it up tremendously within “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones.” It is a nice change and honestly caught me off guard. 

The album kicks off with the 30 second instrumental, “Chip Chrome,” which sets the tone for the rest of the tracklist by incorporating futuristic sounds.

Transitioning seamlessly, the sounds shift to a beautiful sounding ballad. “Pretty Boy” has the signature soft and sleepy sound with a tinge of their newer more pop-like style. The vocals are interesting but strengthen the delivery of the lyrics tremendously. It is a nice mellow song that separates from their last album, “Hard to Imagine the Neighborhood ever Changing.” This is one of my favorite singles on the album. 

Following “Pretty Boy” is the next more pop-like song. “Lost in Translation” immediately demonstrates the new style of the band has adapted. It samples “Wish That You Were Mine” by classic R&B vocal group The Manhattans. This sample introduces the song and it kicks off right away. “Lost in Translation” was released two days before the album was released. It holds a lot of pop undertones even compared to the last track. After one listen, I immediately fell in love with this song. It has the perfect upbeat mood for any situation and is just a vibe. 

Track four of the album is “Devil’s Advocate.” This song contrasts with the previous songs. It has a smooth sound that mixes with the very blunt vocals in an addictive way. The song carries a rebellious vibe that The Neighborhood has perfected within their past albums. 

“Hell or High Water” has an off-putting lullaby sound. Again, it is drastically different than the rest of the songs but in a negative way compared to “Devil’s Advocate.” This is one of the songs I would never seek out on my own, but the end instrumental isn’t as bad as the vocals. 

Track 6 of the album introduces one of the best songs on “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones.” The song titled, “Cherry Flavored.” It was released as a single, continuing the ballad sounding theme in “Pretty Boy.” Both of the songs make listeners feel comforted and calm.  “Cherry Flavored” adds a bit of edge to the ballad while still carrying the soft theme. It is one of the most interesting and dynamic songs on the album. 

“The Mono-Tones” is placed in the middle of the album as an interlude. It is about uncertainty, cliques in society and doubt. Again, this is a song I wouldn’t seek out on my own. 

“Boo-Hoo” also shows the abilities of the band and signals a stylistic change of pace. However, the track’s monotone nature and boring vocals hurt an interesting concept.

The song “Silverlining” partially redeems the disappointment of the preceding song. It is a softer sounding song that involves the themes of moving on and things in the world, Rutherford’s and “Chrome’s” personal life changing.  It’s a unique song but just isn’t my taste. 

“Tobacco Sunburst” continues the moodier and acoustic themes of some of the songs. It is peaceful and a good song to slowly start ending off the album. The cello solo featured in it sets the song apart from the rest. 

The last ballad on the album features a song that was released a full year before the album was. “Middle of Somewhere” is the perfect song to end the album off and is a perfect acoustic song. It never stood out to me, but it isn’t necessarily a bad song. But, it does its job to finish off the album. 

The Neighborhood released beautiful and stunning singles when promoting “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones,” which hyped up the album. These include “Cherry Flavored” and “Lost in Translation.” Unfortunately, the album as a whole isn’t a cohesive piece. These songs would be better separated or organized differently. Listening to the album as a whole isn’t as enjoyable as it should be. I admire the new use of genre and style that the artists implemented. It is very different compared to their previous works and for the most part, they did a good job. 

“Chip Chrome & The Mono-tones” provided stunning singles while the execution of the final album as a cohesive piece was disappointing.

⅗ stars