The music industry just got a lot funkier and wavier with the sophomore album “Picture Show” by Neon Trees, released April 17. The band gave a preview of what to expect when it released the album’s first single “Everybody Talks” Dec. 10.
Neon Trees made its debut March 10, 2010 under Mercury Records with its album “Habits.” Although it only consisted of eight songs (which is typically about an EP length), lead single “Animals”, really gave the band a huge push. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Rock chart and landed at 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a viral hit that was included in commercials and even featured in “The Sims 3.” The band eventually went on to release a digital EP of four remixes of the song after it was remixed by Kaskade, a well-known disc jockey. The television show “Glee” wound up doing a cover of the song during its second season.
The band started to become recognized in 2008 when it opened for Grammy-nominated rock band The Killers during several shows throughout the U.S. The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and Neon Trees bassist Branden Campbell were in a band together prior to joining their current projects. Vannucci watched Neon Trees play in small Las Vegas clubs, eventually earning Neon Trees a chance to open for The Killers and getting signed by Mercury Records.
This Utah band is made up of lead vocalist and keyboard player Tyler Glenn and guitarist Chris Allen. They eventually added Campbell and percussionist and drum player Elaine Bradley. They all provide vocals as well. David Charles plays with them during tours as another guitarist. Coincidentally enough, Campbell’s father is responsible for designing the lights that inspired Glenn to create the band’s name.
“Picture Show” debuted at No. 3 on iTunes’ alternative album chart. “Everybody Talks” may remind fans of their laid-back, catchy chorus and auto-tuned rock style. It is currently holding on to the No. 5 spot on the iTunes alternative singles chart and is featured in a 2012 Buick Verano commercial. Neon Trees is known for being part of the new wave genre; the band’s style can be described as a blend between The Strokes and The Killers. The album shows that the band can stay in its lane and remain relevant in this era with “Lessons In Love (All Day, All Night),” which features Kaskade. Coincidentally enough, “Teenage Sounds” references the struggles of making rock ‘n’ roll in a world that demands pop.
“I’m sick of everybody trying to be famous,” Glenn shouts, and he ends it with “fame is dead.” Speaking of which, in the song “Hooray for Hollywood,” Glenn chants the name of many of the recently deceased celebrities (from Heath Ledger to Whitney Houston) during the bridge of the song. Neon Trees also decided to give us a taste of its softer side with a beautiful duet between Glenn and Bradley titled “Mad Love.” The iTunes deluxe version of the album gives the fans a treat by adding a 2007 demo single they made titled “Drop Your Weapon.”
Aside from the songs that allude to struggle, the rest of the album has more than one potential song, such as “Weekend” and “I Am the D.J.,” that can be played as summer anthems. This is an album you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping a beat — especially during car rides with the top down. With “Picture Show,” you’ll be smiling and dancing all summer.