A series of “walking love songs”, Waterparks’ second album Entertainment flirts with enthusiastic and infectious power pop p-vibes.
Waterparks are one of the hottest bands in music right now, their much anticipated second album Entertainment seeks to cement that claim. The three-piece outfit hailing from Houston, Texas have captivated this genre with some of their most popular songs exceeding 5 million Spotify streams, there is no doubt surrounding the band’s notoriety. I wanted to see how the band would build on 2016 release Double Dare, and how it would affect their meteoric rise.
11:11 wakes us up and the album is off. The message of the band “feel[ing] like a walking love song” resonates throughout the track. Having listened to their discography, I can report that this is a motif that lingers throughout their releases – it summarises them very well. The verse and pre-chorus work with the common goal of exploding into a monumental chorus. It succeeds. It is here that Awsten Knight’s leading vocals become experimental, something that sets the band apart. Now, it is time for the breakdown, which is electronic and features solitary vocals. It balances the energy of the song by slicing it in half. The track is a good album opener, something that is crucial.
Blonde features flickering vocals that change the pace of the song at every moment. The chorus follows the same blueprint, there is no set direction that the song may take. The post-chorus offers some energy to the extent that the breakdown flirts with the dynamics of Knight’s screaming. This song boasts a different flavour in the groove of the album.
Opening with a whistled riff, Peach (Lobotomy), showcases a rhythm that reminds me of Twenty Øne Piløts (I will let you make of that what you will). Once again, positive energy oozes from this one. It is a similar affair with We Need to Talk and Lucky People. There is a focus on the vocals which protrude an optimistic energy. Unfortunately, for me, none of these songs progress much past the chorus.
Likewise, with Peach (Lobotomy), Not Warriors opens in an experimental manner. The electronic riff sets the pace of this track, it’s certainly different and this part of the song stands out on the album. However, I feel as though this is the only moment worthy of note, the rest blends into the ambience of the album.
Rare starts in a positive fashion, immediately it seems to have a different vibe among the other tracks on the record. Lyrically, this song is probably the best on the LP, a highlight being the “metaphors for rainy days” that are being saved for “when I am two-faced”. This song asks you to dance along to it and the chorus explodes with the band joining the party. Throughout the breakdown, the backing vocals accompany the lead beautifully.
TANTRUM opens with the voice of google translate which adds a comedic flare to the song. The energy of Rare is continued with this one. It feels as though it could detonate at any moment. Finally, the breakdown gives us the scream that is teased at in Blonde. I enjoyed this part of the album as it showed me that the band have some bite to their sound.
However, we are sucked back into electronically masked songwriting with Crybaby. It is very hard to differentiate this track from a handful of others on the album. For me, this album has moments of unique talent but a large portion of the rest melts into mediocrity. If you are looking for a collection of power pop, love songs then look no further. Waterparks are very good at what they do. However, I do struggle to listen to a huge quantity of their songs.
Although this album holds some stand out tracks, such as Rare and TANTRUM, the rest of the release struggle to jump through my headphones and stay with me for longer than the first listen. I don’t know whether the ever-maturing genre or my taste has changed, but there is just something missing for me. Don’t get me wrong, 15/16-year-old me would have been over this like flies on the sausage that falls from the BBQ. I just feel as though it is lacking some diversity and development from their first full-length release. However, there is potential here. I would give it a spin.