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Waterparks 2022

ALBUM REVIEW: Waterparks – ‘Intellectual Property’

Intellectual Property by Waterparks released. It’s been a while since we got the first single of the album Funeral Grey on May 12th 2022. The album is finally out after 11 months of waiting with 11 tracks(6 new ones if you don’t count the singles). The latest single Brainwashed released only a month ago though. The album has a bunch of hidden meanings and stories about personal growth. Let’s get into it.

It already starts at the album art. It’s just a frog with a red background but Awsten Knight, the front man of Waterparks, took to Instagram a while ago with an entire explanation of the album art. The important thing to know that this album talks a lot about processing and growing past religious guilt. It affects Awsten in ways of sexual guilt to simply the way he lives his everyday life.

This leads to the first aspect: the frog. Frogs are often depicted as vile, impure and disgusting in the bible. However in other religions frogs are seen as a good thing, like luck and prosperity. A little less deep is that it’s also simply Awsten his favorite animal, which it has been since his childhood. Early on in the album cycle, the idea was to put two frogs on the cover but they decided against it. They did this to show that the same thing can have multiple meanings depending on the way it’s being looked at. The frog, being a poison dart frog, continues this theme even more. It’s a beautiful frog but it can also be deadly because of its poison.

This isn’t the end of the album art explanation. It keeps going. The colors are the next thing up. The blue is because Awsten has always identified himself with the color. That’s also why he made the frog blue. So that it represents him as the frog. But also because because blue brings him back to is most vulnerable state. The blue is surrounded by a loud and gritty red. This represents the more sexual themes on Fuck About It and Brainwashed but it also represents the violence of Real Super Dark and Ritual.

The album name Intellectual Property is a play on the mental space you give someone in your head. The property part is the world that this album takes place in. That was basically a summary of what the album art and title mean. Next up are the songs themselves.

STARF*CKER: A great opener to this album. The shortest song on the album too. This song already starts the themes of the album that I talked about earlier. A starfucker is someone who wants attention/sex from famous people simply for the attention that they will gain from it. Awsten previously briefly talked about this subject on Tantrum from their album Entertainment. In that song he said: “But now people use my friends to try to get to me”. The song also starts about his issues with Christianity with one of the first lines of the album being: “Jesus Christ won’t text me back”. As I said, a great opener for the album. A short but nice song which touches on a bunch of themes that you’ll see more throughout the album.

REAL SUPER DARK: A song that has been released prior to the albums release as a single. One of the more “heavy” sounding songs on the album. This is personally my favorite track because of the aggression that every instrument seems to have throughout the song. The lyrics vary between serious and aggressive and joking. Multiple “Otto is a serial killer” jokes get dropped throughout the song. This is an inside joke of Waterparks, there is no actual evidence that drummer Otto Wood is an actual serial killer. The song was first played live in August of 2022 when Waterparks opened for My Chemical Romance.

FUNERAL GREY: The first single of the album which is almost a year old at the time of the albums release. The song itself sounds a bit more like pop rock than the rest of the album. This song is also one of the examples which has a more sexual aspect with lines like: “I said that you can call me, beep me if you want my skin. She rolled her eyes, and then she said: “I know your dying wish is to be baptized in my spit”” Awsten thought of the title of the song when he was walking through an eerie neighborhood. He thought to himself that if there was an Instagram filter that looked like what he was seeing, it would be called ‘funeral grey’.

BRAINWASHED: Another one of the more sexual songs. This one is the most obvious of all songs up until now. This track is also the 5th and final single that released for the album. However this song had its live debut during the Germany show of their 2022 ‘See you in the future’ EU+UK show. The song itself is one of the more light and happy sounding songs with a lot of lyrics talking about being in love: “I’m havin’ the same thoughts, can’t stop. Thinkin’ you’ve got me brainwashed. I’m see-through, need you. Why do I think you’re so cool?” But like I mentioned earlier, the song has a bit of a sexual theme: “Everything’s clean except for my thoughts. Thinkin’ about me gettin’ you off.”

2 BEST FRIENDS: The perfect song for if you don’t like rock that much. This song is quite a bit of pop. It talks about someone who has feelings for a certain person but their feelings don’t get reciprocated so they do everything to forget about the feelings and person. Which isn’t working so they keep going out with their 2 best friends.

END OF THE WATER (FEEL): Waterparks tend to name songs after Pixar movies. This is the song that they did that with on this album. The track references the movie ‘Onward’. The lyrics talk about someone who wants to talk and be romantically involved with someone but they aren’t on the best of terms with lyrics like: “We ghost each other for a week at a time? Both waiting for each other to reply. Make plans and let ’em fall through” and “Now, I’m checking DMs again. ’til I’m thinking ’bout your face instead.”

SELF-SABOTAGE: The second single of this album. It’s another fun sounding song with darker lyrics. It’s a song about being in a relationship but doing as much as you can to make the relationship as difficult as possible. You don’t want the relation to end but you can’t help yourself doing more things to ruin everything.

RITUAL: Probably the heaviest song on the album, Waterparks take a turn in this song that you wouldn’t expect from them. The song talks about a lot about religious trauma. Definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. They tried something new and it fits perfectly. I low key hope that they do more songs like this, or heavier in the future. They show that they can make these kinds of songs, so if the fans receive it well then there is a chance that they will make more songs like this.

FUCK ABOUT IT: Waterpraks asked Blackbear for this song. It’s quite pop rock sounding and it’s the only feature on the entire album. It’s a feature that fits too. Blackbear is a rapper who you may know from songs like idfc and hot girl bummer. Waterparks played this song live for the first time when they opened for Blackbear on tour in September 2022.

CLOSER: A calmer song, I’d say even the calmest song of the album. The song talks about the definition of love and how it evolves. Everyone thinks that they have found the one in their first relationship but then it turns out not to be the one. Everyone also always thinks that that exact feeling is the love that they should feel while it can change over time.

A NIGHT OUT ON EARTH: The last track of the album. They already teased the song without anyone knowing with their America tour for their album Greatest Hits. That tour was called ‘A Night Out On Earth Tour’. It’s also the longest song on the album with 4 minutes and 22 seconds. The song is a bit more rap/hiphop combined with their typical Waterpraks sound combined. It’s a song that closes off the album really well.

Intellectual Property is in my opinion a great album. It talks about a lot of really personal things that Awsten has experienced himself but there are also aspects that can be applied to a lot of people. Give this album a listen if you can. Waterparks was making good music already but they are making even better music in my opinion. They will also be going on tour soon, check out if they come to a city near you here. Stream the album Intellectual Property by Waterparks below!

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Aspen van der Wijst