Review : Neon Trees - Picture Show
BillboardFans of this Utah synth-rock outfit's ultra-catchy 2010 hit "Animal" will find much to appreciate about Neon Trees' sophomore album, "Picture Show," which leads with a half-dozen hook bombs right in a row, including the insistent "Everybody Talks" and the crisply propulsive "Teenage Sounds." The latter's title gets at the jumpy new wave vibe of "Picture Show." As the band did on its debut, Neon Trees expertly maps the territory separating the Killers, the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand here. Things soften a bit during the album's second half: The lumpy "Trust," for instance, wears out its welcome long before the jam section that carries it beyond the six-minute mark, while "Hooray for Hollywood" sports an ill-advised spoken-word passage that recalls Madonna's "Vogue." Still, Neon Trees flex some impressive songcraft here. "Picture Show" should end up as one the year's most tuneful rock releases....full text
Tampa Bay TimesUnfortunately, Neon Trees’ originality and perky sound only carry it so far before it gets stale as a whole. That isn’t to say that they lose these ingredients, but it’s not entirely unlike an opened bag of Goldfish sitting in your pantry for months, where the taste is there but the crunch is not. This takes very little away from the rest of Picture Show, but for an 11-song album it does feel kind of long.
Next time I listen to Neon Trees, though, I won’t let that get in the way. I may take the songs a little bit at a time rather than in long intervals. It’s certainly a sound worth hearing that will have me coming back for more. Just not too much more....full text
PopStacheNeon Trees is a band comprised of five Mormons on the verge of adult contemporary who will remain a one-hit wonder if any songs from their new album fail to achieve notoriety like “Animal” did a few years ago. Until then, they’ll remain in the background as a pleasant and unique-sounding group of musicians.
The band has a sound that is beat-heavy and on the more electronic side of alternative rock. Led by scratchy vocalist Tyler Glenn, they possess an individuality and a spice of personality that every song emulates in its verses. Their strength lies in their ability to choose a good beat to lead every song, a consistency throughout new Picture Show that their naïve first output did not.
If you give it a chance, Picture Show can be mesmerizing at times, full of energy and valiant effort that aims to produce a higher peak than previous album Habits did. The bulk of this new album is actually much nicer than their debut, an honorable success through a few years of touring and producing....full text
Absolute PunkThe sound of Picture Show is rather nostalgic and futuristic at the same time, marrying ‘80s-sounding textures with pop-rock sensibility that provides a plethora of addicting melodies that almost ache to be heard in a live setting. Energetic and cosmic, “Teenage Sounds” is driving and layered in a way that focuses in on the right parts at the right time. Here, the biting, honest lyricism (‘I’m tired of everybody tryin’ to be a DJ. I can also play my favorite songs and press play.’) is center stage to an entrancing musical backdrop that would almost seem to encourage some sort of physical requirement to listening to it. It is also perhaps the weirdest we hear Neon Trees get on the whole record. “Weekend” shows a similar structure, and it works just as well. Spiking vocal lines tip the wavering balance of new wave guitars and simple, yet confident drumming. The nostalgia goes back even further on single “Everybody Talks”, plucking a barbershop introduction for a bright, poppy chorus and simple, yet catchy strumming in the verse. It’s a solid choice for a single as well, as the build-and-strain vocal lines cut like a hot knife in the band’s buttery songwriting....full text
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