Music Reviews
I Can Feel You Forgetting Me

Neon Trees I Can Feel You Forgetting Me

(Thrill Forever) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10
The last time you probably thought about Neon Trees was in 2014, when they put out their last charting song, Sleeping with a Friend. It was the lead-off to Pop Psychology, a fun, remarkable pop-rock album that went mostly unnoticed by critical and commercial standards. While the Utah quartet were pioneers of the indie crossover hit formula with early 2010s smashes like Animals and Everybody Talks, they never sustained the momentum they got from those huge singles. If you turned on the radio in 2012, it may have seemed like Neon Trees were the biggest band on the planet, but ultimately, the success was somewhat of a fluke.
After a six-year absence, I Can Feel You Forgetting Me is an adequate continuation of what made Neon Trees so appealing in the first place. From their knack for monster hooks, to fuzzy synth-rock instrumentation, everything that’s made them engaging in the past is in place here, albeit a little weaker. While Pop Psychology was about the exuberate excitement of puppy love, this album chronicles the aftermath of a relationship. Songs like Nights and Living Single have giant choruses and propulsive energy, the latter describing living alone as “harder on [his] body than the drugs.” While the musicianship can be occasionally pleasing, it’s the group’s most sonically homogenous album to date.
The group’s fourth album unfolds promisingly, with a series of opening tracks that feel like Neon Trees at their best. Opener Nights is a soaring highlight, with an explosive chorus that might just be the album’s best part. Lead single Used to Like has a similar tone with its jubilant hook and building verses. When lead singer Tyler Glenn sings “let’s go to extremes,” you want to join him on what seems like a journey through his heartbreak. Holy Ghost is a more standard power-pop song with gleaming synth touches, but the refrain of “Where does all the love go?” feels genuinely moving. After that, I Can Feel You Forgetting Me starts shooting blanks.
Between lame keyboard work and a chorus that goes “Bad vibes, they just won’t quit,” Everything is Killing Me is one of the most unpleasant songs here. While no one is asking for superb lyricism on a Neon Trees song, this is egregious. Mess Me Up features clunky, reverb-heavy percussion, and an atmospheric backdrop to the album’s thematic low point—but the ballad is a slog to sit through. The duo of Living Single and Going Through Something are both slick but forgettable, while When the Night is Over feels familiar and average. The album’s entire second half is difficult, as every song blends into the next.
While I Can Feel You Forgetting Me feels therapeutic for songwriter Tyler Glenn, it isn’t an entertaining or interesting enough comeback. Part of you wants to root for this album. It starts so well with two great pop songs— songs that deeply deserve to cross over to pop radio—but after you get halfway through the album, there isn’t a single thrilling moment. While I’m glad Neon Trees returned, this might be their weakest album to date.