The Neighbourhood has integrated itself into almost every college student’s speakers or headphones. From the somber and dingy “Sweater Weather” to the funky and psychedelic “Cry Baby”, their earlier works has encompassed every feeling. This past year has seen a saturation of material from the Californian band. With two EP’s released earlier this year and a self-titled album released late last year, the band has constantly been at work.
“Ever Changing” is the latest offering from the band and takes on a hip-hop vibe that has only lingered in their previous works. Four out of the five songs contain features all from well know hip hop artists such as Ghostface Killah and Denzel Curry. The EP starts off with the 90’s hip hop inspired “Kill Us All”. Denzel Curry starts off the song with deviant bars such as, “I make sure that the globe gets infected/ Explosion, earthquakes, mudslides, erosion/ Global domination, I’ma set it to a motion.” Jesse Rutherford handles the second part of the song with lyrics consistent with Curry’s exclamation. The song is a declaration of the exploitative nature of capitalism and how money “might just kill us all.” From a lyrical standpoint, the song makes a compelling statement; however, the overall execution of the track fell a little short and didn’t feel fully developed.
The structures of each song remain relatively the same with a verse from a rapper with Rutherford taking the wheel on the second half and chorus and vice versa. This is where I find problems enveloped in the EP. On a majority of the songs, the guest features seem to take the shine from the band. The only solo song, “Paradise”, takes The Neighbourhood back to their roots and contains the same sonic features that made them a household name. The lyrics contain themes of unhappiness with fame and a glamorous lifestyle. On the chorus, Rutherford belts out, “No matter where you go, you'll never have control /No one makes it out alive, no one makes it out alive in paradise” The song ends with a hip-hop instrumental that gives the EP an overall consistent feel.
This EP, while sonically pleasing and lyrically relevant, feels very insignificant and unaware of itself in comparison to their other works. While the EP may have appeal for people who are fans of the features, fans of The Neighbourhood will most likely be disappointed with this one. Hopefully, the band travels back to their alternative rock roots and not try to take a dive into something that seems unfamiliar. The title “Ever Changing” might signal the band’s attempt at an ever-changing style, but at what cost?