Album Review | ‘FANDOM’ by Waterparks

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This is an album that I didn’t think I was going to listen to all the way through let alone make a review about but I guess the singles that were released leading up to it really grabbed my attention because I jumped at the opportunity to listen to this album all the way through on its release. You may have noticed that I took my time and actually reviewing it and that’s because I don’t know a lot about Waterparks and it felt ignorant to write a review about this album given that when I listened to it the first time it was the first full album from this band that I had listened to. Up to this point I’d only heard singles that have popped up every once in awhile on playlists because of similar bands I listen to. Even more so I didn’t know anything about the band itself or if there was anything I needed to know before going into the album so I wanted to take some time to discover who the band was and what their music was like so that I could really give a fair listen to this album. 

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Highlights

My favourite part of this album as a whole is probably the lyrics. It has this quality of calling me out that’s a bit jarring on first listen but it also means that I developed this odd kinship with the songs because they were able to voice these flaws I see in myself. It made it easier to get drawn into the songs.

All the fans that like us need an easy f–ing format

They would boo that

They’d abuse that

It’s a cultural hold-back

Lyrics from Watch What Happens Next

Also, this album is just a bop. I dare anyone to listen to it and not find themselves dancing at some point. There are a lot of really cool sounds being played with that add so much character to Waterparks’ sound.

And that’s just what this album is: playful. Yes, it’s a break-up album and there are some dark parts in it, but it also just sounds like the band is having fun recording these songs. It makes me smile and hopefully I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Low Points

I hate to say it but the second-half of this album is definitely weaker than the first. This might have something to do with the fact that this album is obviously about a bad break-up and you can only say so much about it before it becomes repetitive. I just felt that by the last few tracks, Knight didn’t have anything new to say–though War Crimes was a nice change up for this latter half.

This is something I noticed more the second time I listened through the album because, while in the first listen I was like “this is a fun album”, I was less impressed going through it again. There are tracks that have grown on me through multiple listens so who knows what will happen in a month from now but it would have been nice if they had shaken things up a little more.

Favourite Track: High Definition

This was a song that I actually didn’t like at first which seems weird since it’s the song I keep coming back to. I remember I was really focused on the production of this one and then the second verse came in and I have never felt so called out in my life. I know that Knight is probably talking about himself but I couldn’t help but draw connections with myself too.

And even when they’re here it’s like

‘Where’s your f–ing head at?

Why’s it take so long to text back?

You’re so bad at loving people back.’

There’s just so much layering on Knight’s voice that it feels really distracting to me especially when he starts to hit those higher notes within the chorus. I just want to be able to hear his lovely voice clearly.

I just love how it has this almost spoken poetry feel to the versus because it really punctuates the words that are being said over the production of the actual song. It’s weird to start a song that has this very layered synthesized filter on the actual vocals but at the same time there isn’t a lot of production happening in general. This is a song that leans very heavily on the lyrical content and since the lyrics are so powerful and so well written, and personally connect to myself and this case, it creates this wonderful little breather in an album that otherwise feels very dance-y.

Conclusion: 3/5

While there are certainly songs on this album that I’ll being listening to for the next little while–mostly because I can’t get them out of my head–I’m doubt whether this is an album I’m going to remember in a couple months, let alone bother to listen all the way through again. It’s still pretty new so maybe it will grow on me but for right now all I can say is it’s a good album but there’s nothing here that blew my mind or anything.

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