Jacqueline’s Album Recommendations IX


Greatest Hits, Waterparks (2021)

Waterparks is a Houston-based trio consisting of Awsten Knight (lead vocals), Geoff Wigington (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Otto Wood (drums, backing vocals). Greatest Hits is the band’s fourth studio album, which consists of 17 tracks. Every song in this record weaves into the fabric of the album in a seamless stitch, much more differently than any of their past works. 

I don’t want to be that person, but I’ve never been into this type of music. It’s usually the mainstream-sounding songs that I’m not a fan of, the kind of music that sounds like everything else. That’s not to say that every pop song is terrible, because they definitely aren’t, but they sometimes lack seasoning. With that being said; yes, this album gives off that essence; but upon second and third listens, it extends beyond those confined pop walls. The average listener would assume that there isn’t much to dissect in this album, but there is. Throughout the title track, Greatest Hits, and Ice Bath, there is this ongoing theme of dreams when Knight sings last night I had the strangest dream of all repeatedly. And there are other well-hidden themes discussed as people move through the songs. The album also makes a handful of references to their previous albums as well (like the ticking clock at the beginning of the first track that was also at the end of the final track off of FANDOM) that adds character  to its layers. 

Additionally, Knight’s very convincing when he goes track-by-track and explains why every song in the album is phenomenal. When he backs up his claims with pure excitement, it’s difficult not to believe him. He’s probably one of the only people who can pull off this level or arrogance without coming off as ridiculous. Because ranking oneself highly is a good thing when explaining art. Without it, it feels as though the musicians aren’t putting in the effort to sell their music. 

In terms of vocals: if autotune is something that makes your skin crawl, this may not be the album for you. There are heavy pockets of autotune in a lot of the songs, but that’s not to say the vocalist can’t sing. On the contrary, autotune is oftentimes used to add supplemental character to a song, not to mask a musician’s singing abilities. Some musicians who use it in an overpowering way, which is completely fine. But doing this leaves musicians who use it sparingly at a disadvantage; because closed-minded listeners assume they can’t sing if they hear a trace of autotune. Even if autotune is being used for the purpose of masking, it doesn’t mean a musician needs to prove anything, that’s just the way they created their art. 

Speaking of art, when an album’s  cover has people on it, they typically aren’t the best, just because it seems lazy. But I let this one slide because this cover’s e color contrast reflection has a way of catching the attention of the color receptors in my eyes. It’s not that deep, but I love the blue sky against their yellow-orange outfits. In terms of the title, Knight mentioned it was their way of showcasing that they were seeking to dive headfirst to create their “greatest hits” when developing the album. 

This collection of songs is less than an hour long, so it’s a very approachable album. For the most part, every song is a masterpiece on its own, but my favorite tracks off this album are Snow Globe, Violet!, The Secret Life of Me, and Magnetic. 


P.S. Their fifth studio album, Intellectual Property, comes out on April 14th, 2023. Listen to it!