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AJR’s ‘Neotheater’ provides songs for the subjective soul

by Olivia Weinzapfel Neotheater, the third full-length album from AJR, provides its audience with equal doses of grand symphonic energy and lyrical introspective dread. Like their other albums, the themes focus on self-reflection, but Neotheater revolves mainly around growing up and going through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood. They’ve outdone themselves yet again with their signature beats, unconventional themes, and hard-hitting lyrics. This album is light-hearted in its sound and heavy in its meaning. It’s pleasing not only to ears but also to the maturing conscious, as the music helps us dance through the troubles many of us are facing as we get older. AJR’s contortion of electro-pop is hard to get tired of, and Neotheater definitely keeps that trademark alive and well. With this album, AJR puts a new twist on their arrangements; this time they lean a little harder towards orchestral sounds. Trumpets, stringed instruments, and more piano sneak their way into the upbeat pops that define AJR’s sound. They infuse these two styles perfectly, and a great track to exemplify this is the very first one, “Next Up Forever.” The compositions in this album are modern on a surface level but have very musical-like undertones. The theater-like music clashes with their contemporary pop, which almost directly defines Neotheater (neo meaning new, and theater meaning… well... theater).  

Showcasing every part of growing up that sucks


A collective work characterizes a journey

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