Texas pop-punkers, Waterparks, release their eagerly awaited second studio album, Entertainment, on the 26th of January following the singles ‘Blonde’ and ‘Lucky People,’ released in late 2017 to tease the pop-punk tastebuds.
According to lead singer and guitarist Awsten Knight, Entertainment is written not as a pop-punk record but an eclectic album utilising a variety of different styles and genres to build what essentially a great pop album. There are strong roots of electronic, punk and acoustic rock running deep throughout, interlaced with notes of hardcore, country, hip-hop and even some good old 80’s synth rock thrown in for good measure.
In the lead single, ‘Blonde’, Awsten reflects on the time he’s been touring since Waterparks achieved success and the way its made him feel conflicted about home and the relationships he has back there. The first single from their second album needed to be catchy, punchy and of the moment and they’ve certainly achieved that, the hook is something you might hear in a Taylor Swift song but that’s no bad thing, its a great start to a diverse album.
The second single, ‘Lucky People’, is a sickly sweet acoustic ode to Awsten’s then-girlfriend and you just know he was very much in love when he wrote this. Despite it being hopelessly sappy, its got a chorus that really sticks and it’s possibly one of the strongest tracks on the album.
‘Tantrum’ is an angrier track with a tongue in cheek computer vocal sticking two fingers up to so-called “f*&kboy bands” who’ve deliberately lost their edge in a seemingly imitating style. The song punches all the way through with a heavy lead guitar and shouty vocal, it’s a style that definitely works for Waterparks.
The whole album is produced by Benji Madden of Good Charlotteand is a snapshot of the life of Awsten Knight between December 2016 and July 2017, despite being a fantastic pop record, the album is still clearly very personal with Awsten writing all the lyrics himself. A lot changed between finishing the record and the promotional tour and opening up on twitter, Awsten spoke of the difficulty he felt in listening to the album and the prospect of having to tour those songs but eventually on listening again found some clarity in the music. Taken from his twitter, Awsten wrote;
“No matter how I feel about the subjects I wrote about on Entertainment, I’m now able to listen to and love this album again”
“When I listened yesterday my primary thought was ‘Fuck. Fuck. This album is flawless. It is perfect. It is so good.” These are all things that I really needed to feel about it again.”
As far as the difficult second album goes, Waterparks, have nailed it. The personal stories that run through the songs and the dynamic shifts in stylistic tendencies make the majority of the album relatable and an easy listen at 33 minutes.