Label: 300 Entertainment
Released: 21st May 2021
“These are your greatest hits” is the bold claim at the start of, erm, ‘Greatest Hits’, the fourth record from the increasingly great Waterparks. That’s the kind of statement that you only tend to make if you’re either a) a wild egomaniac or b) dropping one hell of a record. Lord knows the music scene is full of the former, but thankfully this record falls firmly into the second section. ‘Greatest Hits’ is great then. And it’s full of hits. So that’s all good. Phew.
Never comfortable sitting still at the best of the times, Awsten and the gang have surpassed themselves this time round. While no two songs out of a hefty seventeen sound the same, Waterparks successfully walk the tightrope between ‘too much song’ and ‘disjointed’. They sound like all your favourite bands while at the same time sounding nothing like anyone but Waterparks. From the straight up pop-punk of ‘Lowkey As Hell’ and ‘American Graffitti’, through the absolute pop banger smuggled in via a drum-and-bass outfit of album highlight ‘The Secret Life Of Me’, and out the other side of the angsty attitude of ‘LIKE IT’, no musical stone is left unturned and unexplored.
The one constant is Awsten’s frame of mind, and it is here that things get a little dark. With references to his mental health peppered throughout, it continues down the path away from metaphor that ‘FANDOM’ began. There’s a fragility to songs like ‘Crying Over It All’ that are almost within touch, and while it is in no way a ‘lockdown’ record, it’s pretty obvious that quarantine has seen him staring in the mirror and facing up to some homemade demons along the way. Light and frothy on the surface, deep and dark underneath, ‘Greatest Hits’ has it all, and often both at the same time. Asking what the future has in store for him on album closer ‘See You In The Future’, that restless spirit that drives Awsten and Waterparks shows no sign of running out of fuel. They could be right about the greatest hits thing y’know.