Pop Psychology

Pop Psychology

by Neon Trees


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Pop Psychology

During the time between Neon Trees' 2012 album Picture Show and Pop Psychology, frontman Tyler Glenn went through some big changes, including seeking therapy and coming out as a gay man. It's not surprising, then, that the band's third album is also its most confessional, but Glenn and company still manage to have fun with their emotional crises. The album's song titles read like advice column headlines, and the name Pop Psychology itself is a clever and accurate manifesto: for Neon Trees, the therapeutic value of dancing on your troubles to the perfect pop song always comes first, even when Glenn is pouring his heart out. Fortunately, there's nothing boring about the inevitability of the verse-chorus-verse format when it's as satisfying as Pop Psychology is at its best. "Love in the 21st Century" kicks off the album with the kind of unabashedly catchy fare fans expect, with Glenn sounding equal parts bold and uncertain as he sings about "broken heart technology" over fizzy synths and handclaps. While Neon Trees have gradually tightened up their pop formula since Habits, their first hit, "Animal," still remains the template for a lot of their music. It makes sense that they reunited with Habits producer Tim Pagnotta, who helps them double down on their new wave and synth pop obsessions and play to their strengths: Glenn's brash yet sensitive vocals and their undeniable way with hooks. Lead single "Sleeping with a Friend"'s breezy synths add '80s soft rock leanings that also pop up on "Foolish Behavior" and the standout "Living in Another World"; while it's not exactly the most expected direction for the band, it conveys the album's sleekness and vulnerability well. There's a similar tension in Pop Psychology's lyrics, which cram in plenty of detail ("Unavoidable" compares a bad relationship to mixed feelings about L.A.; "Voices in the Halls" name-checks Heaven or Las Vegas) while still seeming universal. Knowing Glenn's background gives an extra sting to "Teenager in Love" when he sings "I'm a fool with a curse and a crush," yet "Text Me in the Morning"'s boy-girl shenanigans are just as vivid. Even if Neon Trees sometimes try a little too hard to be serious on Pop Psychology, it's some of their most heartfelt music and some of their finest.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2014
Label: Mercury
UPC: 0602537772650
catalogNumber: 002036302
Rank: 12892

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neon Trees   Primary Artist
Tammi Haddon   Background Vocals
Tyler Glenn   Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Elaine Bradley   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Branden Campbell   Bass,Background Vocals,Group Member
Chris Allen   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Laweta Casiano   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ryan Williams   Engineer
Scott Wiley   Engineer
Andrew Zaeh   Band Photo
Brian Bumbery   Publicity
Eric Wong   Marketing
Tim Pagnotta   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Todd Russell   Art Direction
Bobbie Gale   Publicity
Kristen Yiengst   Photo Production
Tyler Glenn   Composer,Lyricist
Elaine Bradley   Composer,Lyricist
Branden Campbell   Composer
Jam Sutton   Art Direction
Sharon Timure   Marketing
Chris Allen   Composer
Paul Lane   Package Production
Jarett Holmes   Programming,Engineer
Lauren Schneider   Publicity

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