Album Review: B.P. Valenzuela – The Neon Hour

The Neon Hour by B.P. Valenzuela

#aotd is The Neon Hour by B.P. Valenzuela. Musically, this album takes on Indie-Pop and Synth-Pop with a more intimate singer-songwriter feel. Intimacy is a key part of this album, while there is a deceptive amount of instrumental detail, the instrumentals are very restrained. This isn’t a bad thing at all though, as it fits with the themes of the album and BP’s voice perfectly. This album is light and gives off a fun-loving youthful aura with lyrics that focus on the lighter sides of love. This is best shown on the brilliant track “Steady” which sees BP take on the awkward crushing stage before a relationship. It is childish and cutesy for sure but it’s not devoid of substance and BP’s naturally emotive voice makes it feel believable. BP isn’t a technically amazing singer but she fits the niche she has crafted for herself perfectly. Where BP does stand above her contemporaries is in her dynamic song structures. The songs on here tend to shift and bend in unexpected ways making the album itself way more surprising than the typical synth-pop affair. This is evident on the predominately instrumental track “Logic” where the bassy percussion is taken in and out of the mix with some spacey synths and no ten seconds of the song feels the same as the last. There are a few missteps here which hurt the album’s consistency. The song “Pretty Car” feels out of place with a loud chorus that wouldn’t sound odd on a Grouplove track. The rap verse on “Veneers” is also thematically inconsistent compared to the whole album; it also shows weaknesses in BP’s instrumental aptitude as the beat she lays out over the rap is awkward and lacks the proper drive. These missteps are to be expected on a debut album and BP gets the album back on track with the following song every time. If you are looking for something fairly upbeat and cute, kind of like CHVRCHES in high school, then go check this album out.
Rating: 3.5/5

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