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Broods | Don’t Feed the Pop Monster | Album Review

Neon Gold/Atlantic
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

New Zealand alt-pop duo Broods’ latest record, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster, is a powerhouse of vulnerability and authenticity, providing a still-life perspective to their music-making experience. Underneath the emotional nature of the record though, it does exactly what the title of the album says not to do.

In a statement about the album, lead vocalist Georgia Nott explained, “Our goal was to make songs that are true to us, without hiding behind any kind of façade.” Instead of coming across as wholly vulnerable, each song feels like either a hit or a miss from Nott’s goal.

Songs like “Peach” have a definitively pop tone. With plucky piano chords laced over dramatically auto-tuned vocals that build to a drum-based attempt at a beat drop, it slightly misses the mark.

“Everytime You Go” hits the mark dead on. Fast paced, upbeat percussion and delicate piano with Nott’s Lorde-esque harmonies describe self-doubt in relationships, singing “Is it good enough to know it’s enough? / ‘Cause I need to know that you need my love” while struggling to keep up with the piano, driving home the album’s anxious tone.

Then the album transitions into tracks like “Hospitalized.” As the lyrics discuss working as hard as possible, resulting in hospitalization, the synth and drum kit beat transitions into a breathy bridge partnered with kids playing. Same goes for “Everything Goes (Wow),” sounding like a run-of-the-mill pop song. The upbeat and drum-heavy beat partnered with bouncy piano feels overdone, not in line with Nott’s goal of full disclosure.

Inconsistencies aside, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster isn’t a bad album, but it isn’t good either. There are tracks for everyone, whether they’re looking for something to dance to or something to cry to, something to zone out to or something to pay attention to.

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