Pop Psychology

Pop Psychology

Neon Trees make flashy dance rock that also serves as excellent car-radio pop. Their love for ‘80s styles might seem like a calculated move had they were hipsters from Brooklyn or Southern California—but these kids grew up in Provo, Utah, as Mormons, and they've dealt with their share of uncomprehending stares. Frontman Tyler Glenn recently came out as gay and continues as a practicing Mormon, causing a media stir. Yet the band is using the controversy to turn people’s attentions to the sugar-sweet confectionary pop: “Unavoidable,” “I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends),” and “Love in the 21st Century.” When they do slow down, it’s still with a determined groove. The retro synths of “Sleeping with a Friend” meet harmonies that give it the sound of a hit from the mid-'80s, except you haven’t heard it before. Shiny guitars meet up with the handclaps and glee of “Teenager in Love,” while forlorn synth lines warn of a painful breakup awaiting in “Voices in the Halls.”

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