The Neighbourhood – #000000 & #ffffff (The Black and The White)

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Right off the bat, what a ridiculous name for a project. The seemingly random 0s and fs are actually the pantone codes for black and white respectively, which is also seen on the incredibly creative artwork for The Neighbourhood’s recently released mixtape. The Neighbourhood are (according to Wikipedia) are a rock band, but they’re not really, at least I didn’t think so, they’re more of a R&B/Soul collective that also heavily utilises rap and hip-hop.

There’s a fair few good tracks on #000000 & #ffffff (hereafter referred to as #) and while the vocal contribution is fairly predictable- somewhere between Frank Ocean, Theophilus London and Trey Songz, it’s the production end of things that interest and intrigue me most. Take the haunting Unfair, with limited actual lyrics it’s pretty much made up of vocal loops that reminisce trip-hop if anything, but with the constant reminder of hip-hop draped across it.

In contrast we have the hard-hitting yet sinister Lurk. The song featured warped translations of autotune, and Yeezusesque production, working contrapuntally with symphonic vocals courtesy of front man Jesse Rutherford. I’ve always disliked trap music, mainly why I’m not as big a fan of Rick Ross as everybody else is, and The Neighbourhood almost dips into trap the same way Drake’s Worst Behaviour does.

# is a substantial piece of music. The Neighbourhood are an intriguing new artist who can easily have a wide audience lust after their creations. The probes of trip-hop and post-dubstep are welcomed, and the inventive combination of these genres with soul and hip-hop shows The Neighbourhood are one to keep a close eye on.

Verdict – WWW

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