Waterparks – Greatest Hits (Album Review)

Waterparks – Greatest Hits
Released: May 21, 2021

Lineup:

Awsten Knight | vocals, guitar
Geoff Wigington | bass
Otto Wood | drums

Online:

Official Website
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Website

Waterparks are back with a new album and let me tell you, it is absolutely jam packed full of tracks for fans’ ears. Boasting seventeen new songs, there is a lot to take in and dissect. However in the lead up to this release, there have been quite a few singles that the band have already put out which means that I will mostly be focusing on the tracks that haven’t been heard yet, and even as I write this, another was just released. I find it so interesting that a band who only has three previous full length records has decided to call their fourth, Greatest Hits, since that’s usually associated with an artist who has about 10 albums. This is a complete power move and I love it. 

This album is completely different to the last, which was released in 2019 — you can read that review here if you’d like catch up on my past thoughts when it comes to their albums. It has a much different vibe to it, but it still feels very much like Waterparks. I feel as though you can hear the other musical influences that the band have in their work this time. The band have never shied away from being different and exploring things that play with new sounds and I really think it pays off a lot of the time. 

Opening up the record is ‘Greatest Hits’ which has a warning sound, almost an evacuation siren that plays with one sentence being sung in an almost robotic voice, and I can truly see this being the opening track before the band walk on stage during a live show, with some lighting effects, either being different colours or maybe a little bit of a visual of an evacuation scenario. There are many things I can see being done with this track, despite it being short in nature and not a lot to it. That then leads us into ‘Fuzzy’ and I absolutely love the bass and guitar sections of this, it’s short, sharp, catchy and I just love it. I don’t particularly love the “doo doo doo doo” situation that is playing in the background of the song, I personally just don’t think it really does much for the song. Is it catchy? Yes. Is it slightly annoying to me? Also yes. 

The next tracks to follow are two that have been out for quite some time, however I will touch on ‘Numb’ for just a second because I both absolutely love that song, and I’m incredibly impressed at how fast those lyrics move. It has been out for a while and I still couldn’t tell you completely and confidently what is actually being said. ‘Violet’ follows ‘Numb’ and it is also the most recently released single, and with that Awsten has stated that the transition between the two are probably his favourites on the record. Link to that tweet here . I personally really like this track as it’s upbeat with a soft synth and a little bit cutesy in terms of lyrics, that wanting to be close to someone and keep them close by. 

‘Snowglobe’ is a real highlight for me in many ways. The beginning piano makes me think of Kingdom Hearts music, and to anyone who has played the game before, you know the music that I’m talking about. I really appreciate the touch of bass that almost makes it sound like a funk/jazz inspired route, and honestly I just really connected with this song, the beat, the lyrics, the vocals, I feel like it all came together so beautifully and it is one of my favourites off this record. However the track that follows, ‘Just Kidding’ while the lyrics are pretty relatable as a whole, I just… don’t love it and I can’t put my finger on why, but there’s just something about it that I just don’t like. I wouldn’t intentionally skip the song or turn it off if it came on, but it’s just one that I wouldn’t go to straight away. It’s so hard to talk about each different track on its own since there are so many while still do them justice, and to leave anticipation for your ears when this is all released, because let me tell you you’re absolutely going to want to listen to this record. 

‘The Secret Life of Me’ and ‘American Graffiti’ are two more that I just absolutely love and I feel like I just get drawn in by their composition. They’re both so different, but both so incredible. One is a fun, playful, upbeat, synth filled beauty and the other being a raw punk inspired moment that feels to me, during the verses, almost a little Green Day reminiscent. 

The next song I want to dive into for a minute is ‘You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)’ which yes, is the longest title name ever — but it makes me wonder how long this track has been in production, and I say this for those who don’t know, Awsten actually wrote a book that was released in June 2019 and guess what the book title was? If your answer was this song title, you’d be correct! I actually have a copy of this book as well, and if you’d also like to own it, it’s still available here. But on that note, the track itself is actually incredibly good. I feel like Awsten has always spoken about the way that he hates the culture of fans — Please note: he does NOT hate fans, just the culture of people wanting him to be what they expect. I feel as though this is another track about that, addressing cancel culture, and saying dumb shit that would probably backfire. 

Now I could sit here and write about everything there is to say, but I’ll leave you after having talked about just one more of my favourite songs. ‘See You In The Future’ — it’s borderline rap with its fast moving lyrics that are almost impossible to keep up with, but also somewhat soft and slow in moments which doesn’t seem like it would work in the same track, but it really does. But one of my favourite things about it? It has this absolutely incredible build up to the ending of the track which is this booming drum solo from Otto Wood, with those big tribal style sounding drums. 

I am so impressed with this record, honestly. To be coming out with an absolutely MASSIVE album as a fourth, I can’t even begin to imagine what the next one will be like, but this makes me somewhat excited already. It’s overwhelming to think there’s so many tracks, and as someone who saw that and thought “fuck that’s a lot to talk about without overwhelming readers” I know what it seems like, but once you start listening, you really don’t even notice that there is any more than a usual number of tracks. It’s an amazing thing to have been able to write about the second and third album and see the growth there, to the newest release now, which is a reason that I am so excited to see what is next for the band, but I know that other fans will almost certainly feel the same. I did have a few tracks that I wasn’t entirely in love with, but for the most part, I really loved this release.

Waterparks – Greatest Hits tracklisting:

1. Greatest Hits
2. Fuzzy
3. Low Key As Hell
4. Numb
5. Violet!
6. Snowglobe
7. Just Kidding
8. The Secret Life Of Me
9. American Graffiti
10. You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)
11. Fruit Roll Ups
12. LIKE IT
13. Gladiator (Interlude)
14. Magnetic
15. Crying Over It All
16. Ice Bath
17. See You In The Future

Rating: 8/10
Greatest Hits is out now via 300 Entertainment. Grab it here
Review by Heather McNab

Catch our chat with Waterparks frontman Awsten Knight here

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