Waterparks are back with their eagerly anticipated fourth album Greatest Hits, and it is easily Waterparks’ and singer-songwriter Awsten Knight’s most honest work. Knight has crafted an exciting electric sound, combined with an impressive vocal range to produce the band’s most mature album yet.
Whilst Fuzzy shows off Knight’s incredible voice behind funky guitars. The first single off the album, Lowkey as Hell, gives the tone of the album. It is clear that Knight is unapologetic in his strive to improve his mental health, but notes how vital is it in his music with the line “I think people like me better when I’m hurt inside”. This gets turned up to 11 as the band take no prisoners with heavy-hitting song Like It, calling out the industry with the line “I can’t tweet that I wanna kill myself, but if I put it in a song that s**t goes hard”.
Numb echoes Lowkey as Hell as Knight lingers the line “You only like me when I’m numb”. The song is a guaranteed toe-tapper.You can imagine a crowd screaming back at Knight in a concert., maybe solely for the line “My band and I are like Coldplay that’s allowed to say the f**k word”.
Numb introduces one of the main topics of the album in social media and a reason for Knight’s declining mental health. This is exemplified in Just Kidding. Light-hearted on the surface to start, immediately gut-punching with the line “I wish I was dead sometimes, So I wouldn’t have to check my phone”. You’d Be Paranoid Too carries on the trend, dealing with the issue of social media’s cancel culture and being in the limelight.
“I learned to live with these eyes in my closet”.
Waterparks can transcend from upbeat, to slow ponderous thoughts. Where Just Kidding deals with the trauma of mental health, The Secret Life of Me is a mood swing, longing for a getaway where Knight craves for more time, whispering “Now I think I need a life or maybe nine. ‘Cause I feel like I’m running out of time”.
Greatest Hits suffers from having too many songs. An album with 17 songs in just 47 minutes results in fast-paced action that leaves you struggling to digest what you have just heard. The first half of the album is Waterparks’ best work to date, but it needed the Gladiator interlude earlier in the album to allow the listener to breathe. Whilst the electronics of Fruit Roll Ups gives a nice instrumental break, it contradicts the slow, meaningful lyrics which feels too distorted, whilst Crying Over It All struggles to get out of first gear.
The final song See You in The Future is the quintessential Waterparks song. Knight encapsulates the previous 16 songs in three and a half minutes with a blend melodically soft singing and fast-paced, harsh, off the brain ramblings. The first verse starts softly with an electric buzz that feels like there is a bee flying around your head, as Knight delivers the stinging line “Why am I lying when I say I feel content?”. But it gets kicked up a notch as Knight spits “F**k everyone and everything and every single magazine that made me think I’m not enough”, and by that point, you can barely keep up. The song suddenly slows down with the blissful line “I’ll see you in the future”, which reminds you that Waterparks are taking over the scene, and they are only getting bigger.