Picture Show

Committed to modern youth and old New Wave, Neon Trees are the all-Mormon Utah four-piece who hit big with the exasperatingly sticky "Animal." On their second LP, they still favor mannered Anglophile synth pop that has somehow retained its "alternative" branding three decades after the Eighties. Rants like "Teenage Sounds" and wide-eyed whooshers like "Still Young" are all adolescent angst and cool-kid romance. "Everybody Talks" opens with the kind of ascending harmonies Bowie's "Let's Dance" took from "At the Hop"; "Trust" is a New Order facsimile. The album gets artier as it progresses: Four of its last five tracks exceed five minutes. Neon Trees clearly hope there’s life beyond bubblegum.

Listen to Neon Trees' 'Picture Show':

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Artist of the Week: Neon Trees

From The Archives Issue 1157: May 24, 2012