The Bottom Line
For some pop music fans, the sound of Neon Trees on "Animal" might instantly take them back to 1984. The bright poppy melody delivered with shiny synth textures and hand clapping is highly reminiscent of post-punk and new wave pop of the early 1980s. The song is very deserving of its long climb to prominence in pop, rock, and modern rock charts. In the future, hearing the song a fan may have difficulty placing exactly what year it was likely released, but that may just mean "Animal" is rather timeless.
- Instantly engaging new wave pop melody
- Tyler Glenn's yearning lead vocals
- Intelligent lyrics
- Perhaps a little too polished and reminiscent of the past
- Written by Tyler Glenn, Tim Pagnotta, and Branden Campbell
- Produced by Tim Pagnotta
- Released July 2010 by Mercury Records
Guide Review - Neon Trees - "Animal"
The handclaps and poppy melody that kick off "Animal" will instantly warm the heart of the majority of pop music fans. The yearning vocals of Tyler Glenn kick in, and more than a few listeners will be transported to a pure pop kind of heaven. It is no wonder the song has slowly become a hit across radio formats from mainstream pop to rock, modern rock, and adult pop. There is enough of a rock edge to engage those fans, but the melody is so friendly that older adult listeners looking for something uptempo will quickly become fans.
Lyrically "Animal" entertains the mind while still being light enough to provoke an easy singalong. The words spell out a continuous romantic push and pull best represented by the repeated line, "Here we go again." There is not a lot particularly deep here, but there is little overt silliness either. The vocal clarity and clean production allows each word to sink in as you find yourself wanting to hit replay over and over.
Neon Trees are one of the most promising bands to emerge into the pop spotlight in 2010. Lead vocalist Tyler Glenn claims influences from Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson. It is hard though to miss a comparison to the poppier side of the Cure. Regardless of the specific influences, "Animal" is one of the most memorable pop singles of the year. The second or third time through it will sound like a familiar friend. That is true today and likely to be true 10 years from now.