Recommended Tracks: “Violet!”, “American Graffiti”, “See You In The Future”
Artists You May Like: With Confidence, As It Is, Girlfriends
In order to grow and get ahead in this life, you have to be ready to take chances and follow your instincts – something that Waterparks has been doing since day one. Time and time again, the animated trio have explored new territory with their music, releasing songs that push boundaries and stray from the norm. As each album finds the boys actively checking off new boxes on their bucket lists, it shows that these risks do not go unnoticed; the more creative, the better. Embracing the unconventional is just what Waterparks does, which is why it does not come as a total surprise that they would entitle their fourth studio album Greatest Hits, despite the fact that its songs are completely brand new.
As is typical of any Waterparks album, there is personality for days on Greatest Hits. Across its 17 tracks, we get sarcasm, anger, depression, fear… And each track is tailored to best fit how each emotion sounds. The band is known for incorporating a plethora of genres on their albums and into songs, so if the moment calls for unapologetic hip-hop, as it does on “LIKE IT,” some action-packed rap, as on “See You In The Future,” or a burst of vibrant pop punk, like on “American Graffiti,” then so be it. The takeaway is not exactly what Waterparks frontman Awsten Knight says, but how he says it, which makes the songs and the feelings within them all the more tangible.
Having plenty of time to daydream and ruminate on life’s biggest questions during lockdown last year, as we all did, Awsten put the thoughts he experienced into detailed lyrics. There are moments on the album when he lets hypothetical scenarios and far-fetched dreams fully play out to the point where it seems as if they actually happened, as he does on the lush “Violet!” and the delicate “Crying Over It All.” The lines between fantasy and reality blur even further on “The Secret Life of Me,” where Awsten fosters an escape into a parallel universe, as well as on “Magnetic,” where he tries to choose between rooting for himself or tearing himself down. As up and down as the album goes, it accurately reflects the way our emotions got the best of us last year and tend to get to us on a daily basis.
To complete the personalities of the tracks on Greatest Hits, Waterparks made sure to incorporate unique intros, outros, and vocal stylings throughout the album. The whimsical intro to “Snow Globe,” for instance, mimics a snow flurry that often occurs upon shaking a snow globe, even if the rest of the track is not as lighthearted and carefree. There is also the zombie-like laugh Awsten makes on the choruses of “Just Kidding” and the way his voice drifts off at the thought of a nice gel pen on “Fruit Roll Ups” that add an element of relatability to the tracks. These small quirks add so much meaning to the stories we hear, and solidify that what we are listening to is a Waterparks original.
Overall, Greatest Hits delivers on its promise of being the greatest Waterparks record ever – at least, until the band’s next album drops. Musically, lyrically, spiritually, emotionally, and any other “-allys” that I am excluding, it is very much in character of previous Waterparks albums, but it still does its own thing. It is impossible to pick out the “greatest” song on the album, just as it is impossible to not get buried in a song or two. Indeed, “these are your greatest hits,” and if they come across as too bizarre or eccentric, then the band has done its job.
You can listen to Greatest Hits on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.