Review – “Entertainment” – Waterparks

Review – “Entertainment” – Waterparks

Prepare to be entertained by Waterparks’ new album!

Entertainment is the second LP from pop punk band Waterparks, released with Equal Vision Records.

Waterparks does not disappoint with their new music! The three pre-album singles were a perfect taste for the album’s overall sound: a great mix of electronic and Waterparks’ typical pop punk sound, with a couple acoustic songs thrown in for good measure. It’s uniquely Waterparks and I couldn’t be happier! And what’s truly crazy is this whole album was written in a month, since that was all the time Waterparks had before going back on tour. You’d think an album written in such a short period of time would sound rushed or bad, but Entertainment doesn’t even remotely sound rushed.

I was a bit concerned for a while, as vocalist and frontman Awsten Knight has openly spoken about his fears about this album. He posted a statement on Twitter about how creating this album affected his mental and physical health. Most of the songs were finished prior to Knight’s breakup with Ciara Hanna, and therefore there’s quite a few love songs on this album. These songs were lyrically very open to the point of vulnerable, casting a bittersweet tone over the album.

“11:11” kicks off the album with a cool synthesized keyboard intro, before the regular instruments and vocals kick in. It’s a great song to ease listeners into the more electronic sound of this album, as the song utilizes synthesized keyboards but focuses on their original pop punk sound. “11:11” is a fast-paced, rocking love song for a girl who seems so unreal, he might have dreamed her up. Knight sings about someone who makes his cares disappear and his mood go up whenever they’re together.

“Blonde” is one infectious song! It really gets stuck in your head. I’m impressed with how fast Knight can sing. “Blonde” picks up the mood from the more serious opening track. The song is lyrically serious, as Knight reveals how the colors he dyes his hair reflect his feelings at the time. For example, “I go blonde when I’m sad” or “I go blue when I’ve had/A break at home to breathe.”

“Peach (Lobotomy)” is a personal favorite. I love the laidback feel of the song; it creates the mental image of driving in the summer with the windows down, wind blowing through your hair. “Peach” is a song about obession, according to Knight ( “We Need to Talk” begins with an inverted sample of a line from, of all things, Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” (“Your mama likes me and she doesn’t like anyone“). This song is Knight having “the talk” with a girl, saying how he thought she was his lucky charm and bringing up issues with their relationship. For a song on a harder topic, “We Need to Talk” is surprisingly laidback.

“Not Warriors” is a confession of raw, untainted-by-alcohol feelings for another. The track has a summery, upbeat tone, creating a perfect jam for road trips. “Lucky People” is a beautiful acoustic love song by Knight for Hanna, written and recorded while the two were still together. The song is bittersweet to listen to, because you can hear the love in Knight’s voice. I feel almost guilty calling “Lucky People” a favorite off the album, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for acoustic songs, bonus if they’re love songs.

“Rare” took the longest to create. Knight stated on his account that he’d had the riff since 2013, and the lyrics underwent many rewrites. I’m glad the band chose to finalize this song and include it on Entertainment; I loved the energy on the track!

“TANTRUM” is the most intense track on Entertainment, and it hurt inside to listen. The song opens with a robotic female voice reciting negative criticism that I assume Waterparks has received in the past. Knight is angry as hell, and “TANTRUM” clearly vocalizes his raw, fed-up feelings. He growls about how if he drops from the band and kills himself, maybe then people will finally take him seriously. Knight mentions being in contact with his teenhood idols, while his friends are being used to get to him. Knight is taking names and throwing punches, refusing to be walked over anymore.

“Crybaby” brings things back down after the frenetic energy of “TANTRUM.” Knight sings about the sadness he feels inside over losing his ex, but refusing to turn into a “crybaby” just because something bad happened to him. “Sleep Alone” closes out the album on a fast note. The tempo of the song conveys the frenetic tone in the lyrics, as Knight begs a girl not to leave even though, from what I can guess from the lyrics, she can be controlling.

Even though I had already seen the Entertainment track listing, I was still surprised when the album ended at “Sleep Alone.” The album felt so short, and I wanted more! I enjoyed every track, albeit some more than others. Entertainment makes for a fun listening experience, even with the album’s bittersweet tone.

I tend to be hesitant about mixing electronic music with punk, but Waterparks does it in a way that just doesn’t bother me. They balance the two very well, with neither sound outweighing the other. If one song is heavier on the electronics, the next track will be heavier with punk. This blend is what makes up Waterparks’ distinct sound, and I genuinely enjoy it. They did a great job with their sound on this album, and I love the maturity, both musical and lyrical, that can be heard on Entertainment.

What did you think about Entertainment? Let me know in the comments!

Check out my reviews of “Blonde,” “Lucky People,” and “Not Warriors!”

Like what you hear? Check out Waterparks on Spotify! Be sure to follow Waterparks on FacebookTwitterTumblr, and Instagram, and subscribe to Equal Vision Record’s YouTube! Check out their website for more about Entertainment, merch, and more!

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