Friday, April 25th, 2014

Neon Trees – Sleeping With a Friend

This scored too high to use the planned tagline of “Everybody Balks,” sadly.


Patrick St. Michel: If this is such a dramatic issue for you, Neon Trees guy, why is your song so boring? Ever think that’s the REAL problem here?

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: This set of reheated Killers moves with Fine Young Cannibals songwriting will function enough for the officiated NO SURPRISES zone of FM radio, and little else. Even then, I’m twiddling my thumbs totally waiting for the yowling to finish and “Easy Lover” to come on and kick my day into sixth gear *does air drums and the Genesis “I Can’t Dance” strut*

Jer Fairall: Crisper than Foster the People’s similar “Coming of Age,” and more fun than anything by fun., but the recently out, 30-year-old Tyler Glenn should know by now that the fallout from hooking up with your friends is something that only heteros really worry about.

Megan Harrington: This is such a utilitarian song, but without the steel-eyed, mercenary usually implied. Neon Trees just want to supply you with music you can use; they’re the Hallmark card of the pop charts. Put this on a mix for someone who feels ambivalently about you and when they ask what exactly you meant by it’s inclusion, shout, “It’s so catchy!” Play this as you make your way home from a hook-up, discreetly titillated by your recent spate of bad decisions. It’s a song that applies itself equally well to your wish fulfillment and your wound salve. 

Scott Mildenhall: 99% of songs so sure about what “we’re” going to do “before the night will end” have unreliable narrators. Jason Derulo’s “The Other Side”? Desperate fantasy. “Hold On, We’re Going Home”? He’s going home alone. They protest too much and they know it, but “Sleeping With A Friend” is more self-aware. All it has is a tentative, unspoken venture towards the possibility that maybe there’s some small chance they might feel the same. It’s not overwhelmed by the unrequitedness; albeit with a heavy heart muting the Two Door Cinema Club jangle, it’s coming to accept it.

Brad Shoup: A note of caution expressed by a guy who doesn’t sound like he believes a word of it. “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off,” this isn’t. But it’s a tightly-packed pop tune, with great mixing on the transitions to the chorus. It shimmers and gallops; that’s expected. But it also, kind of, moves.

Edward Okulicz: Yeah, no, “danger,” even if just a little peril to a friendship, and the lobotomised “ooh-ooh” of this song can in no way exist in the same universe. It’s completely unbelievable here. And just because the song knows the excuse is a fake from singer on down, doesn’t make the song interesting. I mean, have you heard a radio pop song with less friction than this lately? I mean, it’s so smooth I can’t even feel it while it’s having its icky way with my ears against my will. Ugh.

Reader average: [7.28] (7 votes)

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4 Responses to “Neon Trees – Sleeping With a Friend”

  1. Nice insight, Scott!

  2. megan and scott’s blurbs are one of my favorite one-two punch sets of blurbs this year

  3. Cheers! Megan’s is great, the second sentence especially.

    And I wouldn’t’ve considered mine an insight, but I guess I’ll take that too!

  4. (I should have put thanks at the end there.)