It’s hard not to think that Waterparks’ new album Entertainment is going to prove to be a defining release of the year. If you’re coming into this expecting some sort of run of the mill “pop punk album,” you’re in the wrong.

Awsten Knight’s lyrics are as clever and catchy as ever, and his singing is overlaid atop a soundscape that is interesting to say the least. Right off the bat, in just the first song, there are seeming special effects swirled in with rather heavy hitting guitars that, combined with Knight singing about being a “walking love song,” create something special. Entertainment feels like a lavishly prepared meal that one was invited to without being told exactly what to expect.

Going into song two, the music stays almost surprisingly heavy, like a super energetic but totally mature rock album. Knight’s vocals are on the higher end of the scale, like those normally employed by the scene the band is normally lumped into, but even at that, there’s a time or two on the album when he goes lower.

The members of Waterparks deserve a lot of respect for their new album. They’ve managed to yet again show that they should not be pigeonholed as just another pop punk band while still seeming like they could share a stage with anything from a mainstream alt rock band to the mainstays of the pop punk scene.

Pretty much every song on their new album feels unique, and that’s a huge plus. “We Need To Talk” is an electronic infused bop that discards much of the guitar-based thickness of earlier tracks. The song, placed on the album, manages to make a tale of being spurned by a lover into something remarkably relatable. “I really thought you were my four leaf clover,” Knight sings.

Songs including “Crybaby” and “Not Warriors” also lean heavily on the special effects, while “Lucky People” is an essentially acoustic love song. “TANTRUM” is probably the heaviest song on the album and definitely a standout track. There’s really something for everyone here, and there’s no apparent excuse for any dedicated music fan to not listen to Entertainment.

Purchase the album here.

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