Neon Indian - Vega INTL. Night School - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Neon Indian - Vega INTL. Night School

by Jim Harris Rating:6 Release Date:2015-10-16

Neon Indian, or Alan Palomo, is back with another dose of dance beats, squirrelly noisy fillers, and heavy doses of chillwave, much improved on the last Neon Indian release, four years ago; tighter, denser, and, in the second half anyway, more relaxed and settled.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it will cause any major explosions anywhere. My house is full of MGMT, Ariel Pink, and Foxygen fans and they just aren’t quite sure, again, where Neon Indian fits in the rotation. I agree on that.

Alan Palomo is a talented musician but Vega INTL Night School, with its first half of chilllwave explosions and night-life inside an acid carnival songs (‘Hit Parade’ through ‘Smut) set a tone that seems at odds with the early Michael Jackson meets all those other 80s soulful disco crooners on the latter half of the album (‘Baby Eyes’ through ‘News From the Sun’).

And therein lies the fundamental problem with Neon Indian.  Palomo does many things well, but shifts and breaks his way down so many paths, he doesn’t give himself time to do anything extraordinary.  Vega INTL Night School is all over the place.  Yes, it’s all danceable, and his voice is pleasant enough but there just isn’t enough, once again, that grabs you and pulls you back.  Palomo proclaims he wants to be a visual artist more than a musical artist, and perhaps that explains the sort of unfinished veneer (background soundtrack) quality his songs exhude.

But it would be nice if he would turn off the video and crank out a more focused, memorable set of tunes next time.   

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