The Neighbourhood’s latest single R.I.P. 2 My Youth is an excellent teaser for the band’s sophomore album, Wiped Out!, which has fans in an excited frenzy. The NBHD have not released anything since the premiere of their mixtape #000000 and #ffffff on December 1st and with this single have created anticipation and curiosity as to the theme and sound of the upcoming album. Their debut album I Love You. is a collection of ghostly tracks turned sexy by frontman Jesse Rutherford’s velvet tone. I Love You. was more pop focused with “Sweater Weather” topping charts all over the country in 2013. #000000 and #ffffff however was a twist on the band’s style, incorporating more rap and hard beats and less of Rutherford’s voice and less of their classic slow, ringing guitar. The mixtape did not have as positive a reaction with fans as did I Love You. but it seems the band is backtracking and once again adapting their more pop, vocal focused sound from their debut album.
Fans awaited the release of the track earlier this week and the reactions upon its release were nearly all positive. R.I.P. 2 My Youth is a morbid reflection on the band’s growth and development throughout the course of their fame. The Neighbourhood have always focused on feelings of insecurity and anxiety paired with supernatural sounding, eerie instrumentals giving insight into the pain of their lyrics. This track is no different, expressing Rutherford’s anguish in reflecting upon his transition into adulthood and separation from the freedom and liberty of youth. He describes this separation as a death of his youth, making it clear he does not have high hopes for his life to be better after his fame and youth fade.
If you follow the band you know that Rutherford is quite impressively devoted to his love of Chanel everything, and it is no surprise he finds a way to weave this into their new track with the line, “Wrap me up in Chanel inside my coffin”. The lyrics are an extreme expression of the feeling that life is not worth living one the adrenaline and freedom of being young passes. He suggests that his hunger for fame is not satisfied, “Mama, there is only so much I can do/ Except for you to witness, for to worship me too”. He recognizes he cannot depend on attention fame brings to be constant, and feels life without this attention is a lesser one, if adequate at all. The most disturbing, morbid lyric of the track “I’m using white lighters to see what’s in front of me/ I’m using white lighters to see/ R.I.P. to my youth” makes reference to the myth that white lighters are bad luck.
The myth details that Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Kobain, and Jim Morrison all, during their autopsies, found with a white lighter in their pockets. They also all died at age 27. Rutherford, currently 23 years old, predicts he has few years left of life and fame before it is all gone and predicts he will fall victim to death by white lighter. I was very pleased with the return to their old sound in this track, and look forward to the story The Neighjbourhood’s upcoming album will tell.
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