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Album Review: Neon Indian – VEGA INTL. Night School

2 min read

Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo has done it again with his latest album, VEGA INTL. Night School. A funky, occasionally island-influenced sound covers it entirely, marking a distinct change from the streamlined synthpop sound of Era Extraña. Its sound is perfectly defined, fresh and makes for a compelling listen. Had it not been for a few little issues here and there, it could have been one of the top albums of the year.

Neon Indian VEGA INTL Night SchoolIn its early stages, the album has no problem hitting you over the head full-force with infectious bass lines and amazing choruses. The Glitzy Hive feels minimal in terms of arrangement, as it consists mostly of the same beat throughout almost the entire song; the shift into the chorus is signified mostly by Palomo’s vocals, which repeat the same line constantly in a ridiculously hook that makes the consistent beat a nonissue. Dear Skorpio Magazine follows suit, taking on a similar vibe in terms of sounds used but turning it into a slower song, with the guitar solo sections being the defining moments here instead; there’s more going on here than there was in the previous track.

The album hits another peak with Slumlord and Slumlord’s Re-lease, a two-part pairing that gives The Glitzy Hive a run for its money but just falls short. Its funky disco beat is reminiscent again in ways to Glitzy Hive, utilising a strong bass line and catchy little synth scales at the front and synth loops in the background to create an infectiously repetitive track, with Slumlord’s Re-lease offering it an extended, slightly more aggressive outro. At this point the album falls off, not really matching the energy or quality of its first half; the songs are still enjoyable, though Baby’s Eyes lasts too long and drags too much to truly enjoy listening to it. It’s the only major flaw on an otherwise amazing album.

Regardless, it’s still almost ridiculously enjoyable in its early stages, with some of the strongest promo tracks of the year working in its favour—especially The Glitzy Hive. Its small but noticeable dip wouldn’t have affected the overall result of the album if Baby’s Eye hadn’t exacerbated the problem to a degree, but you still won’t regret giving the album a spin, if not one or two more when it’s finished. The atmosphere of VEGA INTL. Night School is too infectious to ignore for long.