Album: “Chip Chrome and the Mono-Tones”

Sara Brownlee, Staff Writer

4.5/5

After almost three years of silence, just when I thought my addiction to the band had calmed down, The Neighborhood pulled me back in. “Chip Chrome & the Mono-Tones” is the fourth and last studio album that will be released under the band’s contract with Columbia Records.

This 11-song album incorporates an eclectic set of sci-fi ballads, from the psychedelic “Tobacco Sunburst,” to the ’60s exotica vibe of my personal favorite, “Pretty Boy.” Staying true to their mellow, soft background instrumentals and emotional lyrics, The Neighborhood will take any listener on a journey through the musical cosmos. 

I fell in love with most of the songs as soon as the first note played, some being the lyrical masterpieces that are “Pretty Boy” and “Devil’s Advocate.” Both of these songs have unique instrumentals and easily became my favorite songs. Other songs are just okay and had to work for my affection, like “Cherry Flavored.” Although I enjoy listening to it, the song sounds like something I have heard before and is a little more generic than the rest of the songs.

Lead singer Jesse Rutherford takes after David Bowie by creating an alter ego for himself. Similar to Bowie’s character Ziggy Stardust, Rutherford impersonates Chip Chrome, a silver alien, and uses him to embody his struggles with the identity in the band as well as his own battle with his addiction to social media. In a press statement, Rutherford describes Chip Chrome as “a character he had found within himself, and has always been somewhere behind-the-scenes” and the Mono-Tones as the voices in his head, as well as the other members of the band and their opinions on his songwriting.

Knowing the personal connection between Rutherford and the songs and characters he created makes me grow even fonder of the album. The Neighborhood could never disappoint me with their music but with the catchy lyrics and emotional background, this album was on another level.