Metro Weekly

Album Review: Versions of You by Neon Trees

December brings an EP retrospective from celebrated alt-rocker veterans Neon Trees

Neon Trees -- Photo: Jen Rosenstein
Neon Trees — Photo: Jen Rosenstein

It is sometimes hard to believe Neon Trees have been around as long as they have. Much of their output has an infectious and upbeat energy that keeps it feeling fresh, as their strange yet inoffensive holiday single earlier this year seemed designed to hammer home.

Still, Neon Trees is an alt-rock institution at this point, with enough material worth revisiting. Their latest EP, Versions of You (}}}), is something of a gift to their fans, featuring re-recordings of a few of their most celebrated songs.

Their standout 2012 single “Everybody Talks” is easily their biggest claim to fame, having gone 5x platinum, and this is the song whose ten-year anniversary Versions of You commemorates. The new version of “Everybody Talks” featured on this EP is a more stripped-back affair than the original, preserving its lighthearted sense of fun but this time with a sunny, almost indie pop sensibility to it.

Another multiplatinum single, “Animal,” also gets the acoustic treatment with a new version that lends the song a dreamy quality, and “Sleeping with a Friend” rounds things out on a similar note with a more plaintive version of that single.

The one original song, “Versions of You,” feels like quintessential Neon trees, featuring only Tyler Glenn’s voice and a piano but full of plenty of the heartache and melodrama that the band has such a gift for channeling.

Like nearly everything Neon Trees have done, it’s easy to get the feeling that this EP was a fun one to put together. What makes Versions of You a fun listen is that it knows exactly what it needs to be — a short, unpretentious retrospective revisiting the hits that Neon Trees have made a name for themselves on.

Versions of You is currently available in digital formats from UMe. Follow Neon Trees at @NeonTrees.

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