by: b o d y l i n e
Written By: Flanger Fobia
Published: October 12th, 2022
Album Released: November 4, 2017
Cassette Released: August 5th, 2022
In order to properly invoke nostalgia, one would have to employ certain techniques that would trigger our various senses in order to recall the feelings of memories we lived in our younger days. A familiar sound palette, album artwork of a beautiful sunset, sample choice, and the descriptive title perfectly places the listener back in time to enjoy the late summer nights of our youths. Neighborhood Afterglow by b o d y l i n e is the album for those who are soaking up the last summer nights before the turn of the season.
At its core, Neighborhood Afterglow is a nostalgia-evoking album that is reminiscent of a specific time period in vaporwave’s history. That time period is that of the early 2010’s, as the album is a textbook example of a classic vaporwave sound, down to the sample choice, speed, and amount of reverb applied to each track. The six-track album thus displays itself as a cohesive work that encapsulates feelings of mellowness and a sense of floating into the ether.
The album opens with “Traffic Light Plaza,” which features synth bell arpeggios, washed-out vocals, and reverbed percussion which sets the tone for what to expect in the album. Following tracks such as “Waterglide” and “Afterglow Waft” follow a similar format, with drawn-out chords on a rhodes piano, repeated hypnagogic guitar melodies, and a heavy low synth bassline that is reminiscent of early works of vaporwave, such as that of Luxury Elite and Cvltvre.
I believe that this album should be listened to by anyone who is a fan of the genre as there is nothing that this album presents that is particularly sonically original. While a lack of originality may sound as a negative descriptor, it reflects that the album’s sound is based on a formula that has been proven to be enjoyable to many fans of the genre, which is that a slowed and reverbed sample can prove to be sufficient enough to produce a good track. However, that also does pose the possibility that such an album in this format could be lost in the sea of the many vaporwave albums that have a similar sonic palette. In other words, if the average listener did not know that this album was released this year, one may think that this album is a classic vapor album from 2013 (which is certainly not a bad thing!).
Overall, this album is a very nice compilation of tracks that brings the listener a sense of comfort as it relies on the effective format of slowing and reverbing tracks, which eliminates a likeliness of any particular element that may not be enjoyed by all listeners that one may find in newer releases that incorporate a greater amount of experimentation. This album is definitely one that can be enjoyed by newer and older fans of the genre and one that is perfect for a listen on a late summer night.
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