The Neighborhood’s latest release debuts frontman’s alter ego


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

The Neighbourhood released their first album back in 2013. ‘Chip Chrome & the Mono-Tones’ was released on Sept. 25.

The Neighbourhood, a quintet from California famous for their hit “Sweater Weather,” have released their latest studio album “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones.” Frontman Jesse Rutherford takes on the persona of Chip Chrome, a chrome man outfitted in silver and bold makeup. 

The album starts off with “Chip Chrome,” a track that offers a futuristic ambiance to set the mood of the rest of the album. The next track,“Pretty Boy,” delivers the usual moody alternative energy that the band is known for. 

“Pretty Boy” is a slow-rock love song with memorable lyrics such as “Even if the Earth starts shaking / You’re the only thing worth taking, ooh, with me.” Rutherford’s delivery of the lyrics contains so much emotion, making it impossible to forget about.

Next is the very upbeat and catchy “Lost in Translation,” which was the final single dropped two days before the album release. It is arguably the best song on the album. The song begins with  a sample from “Wish You Were Mine” by The Manhattans before shifting into its bright rhythm.The sample adds to the funky feel of this soulful song.

Despite the upbeat melody, the song is about issues of communication in a relationship with lyrics like “I’ve been getting lost in translation / Trouble keepin’ up communication / We were having fun, now I can’t wait to be done / Feels like I’m the only one sick of playin.”

Continuing with the upbeat melody and groovy bass line is the track “Devil’s Advocate.” Like the previous song, it has a moodier meaning. Rutherford says that it is about overthinking something to the point of lacking fulfillment in personal and professional aspects of life. 

“Hell or High Water” is yet another sad-boy song that contains a combination of synth and a guitar track that sounds like an interlude from Spongebob. The song is about hitting rock bottom and fighting back up to the top.

The second single from the album,“Cherry Flavoured,” is another very on-brand, moody alternative song from the band. The song is about sugarcoating things in a relationship in order to avoid honest conflict. In the middle of the album is “The Mono-Tones,” a minute long interlude about the voices inside your head. It is comprised of repetitive noises and sounds, particularly the lyrics, “Boys, boys, boys, boys, boys / Voices in my head tellin’ me to make a choice.”

“Boohoo” is an upbeat song with hints of R&B, something that the band has experimented with in their previous work.

“Tobacco Sunburst” slows things down and is literally about slowing down in life. Accompanying the lyrics are slow guitar, bass and drum tracks that add to the overall downcast feel of the song. 

Rutherford reflected on the closing track as the best song he’s ever written on his own. “Middle of Somewhere” is the perfect end to the last album from the California quintet that made it solely on the doleful sound of their music.