WILDLY ENTERTAINING. Like an Awsten Knight tweet, the lead singer and lyricist of Waterparks, ‘Entertainment’ needed to be introduced in all caps. The quirky frontman poured his heart and soul into this album, and the result is a mix of bubblegum pop and heartbroken punk. The result is indescribable and wonderful.
This is the sophomore album for the boys from Houston, Texas. Their first album, ‘Double Dare’, was the definition of pop-punk and was an immediate success in the scene. This album is more mature and more experienced. Knight uses Twitter to reach his massive fan following, usually tweeting out goofy experiences or thoughts in all caps, being a playful and responsive frontman endlessly promoting and sharing his music and life. The ruthless, entertaining tweets invading Twitter feeds must have worked and as a result, he got recognition from alternative music magazines, even gracing his first cover on the January edition of Alternative Press. The album is already racing towards the top of the charts since the release.
The record is sassy and a direct look into Knight’s life. It is emotional, real and raw… even though it is autotuned. The tuning enhances his voice, making his warbles and roller coaster vocals smooth. ‘Entertainment’ is a quick record, as it is only thirty-three minutes long. The lyrics are darker than usual, touching themes of loneliness, disappointment, heartbreak and hopelessness; but the album sounds happy and upbeat.
The first single off of ‘Entertainment’ was ‘Blonde,’ an extremely catchy song. This song only takes one listen to be stuck in your head all day. The song begins with “I think the blondes are done with having fun” and then the dependency starts, the song is addicting and it leaves the listener wanting more, and more. This single left the entire pop-punk world drooling for the release date of the rest of the album. Knight takes a risk during this song, with dirtier sounding vocals instead of his perfect-pitched and tuned voice.
Most songs on the album are innocent sounding, with echos and articulate words in a falsetto voice.’We need to talk’ is one of the best songs on the record. The listener would have a hard time not swaying their head and shoulders to the beat. It sounds like the perfect song to listen to while walking on a boardwalk on the beach, with headphones on a high volume, watching other people enjoy their vacations. The song is peaceful and emotionally open. Heartbreak is the topic in this song, confessing that “I really thought you were my four leaf clover, I really thought that I was lucky.”
In contrast, ‘TANTRUM,’ is the heaviest song on the release. The song is raw. The song demands attention. It begins with a recording of a robotic woman talking about other bands and self harm. The song is hypnotizing and glorious, blaming Knight’s blue hair for their chance at musical fame.
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Waterparks is far from generic pop-punk. This record is the proof. It is more than the genre the band is assigned. The lyrics are meaningful and the music behind the words is thoughtful, planned and gives evidence to the band’s skills. This release has a positive vibe even though the lyrics are bleak. ‘Entertainment’ is pure entertainment and is truly amusing.
‘Entertainment’ is out now via Equal Vision Records. The official track listing is as follows…
- Peach (Lobotomy)
- We Need to Talk
- Not Warriors
- Lucky People
- Sleep Alone