Conceptually taking place over the course of a night, Greatest Hits opens with the hazy one-and-a-half minute title-track. ‘Last night I had the strangest dream of all…’ Awsten begins, before a voice proclaims that, ‘These are your greatest hits.’ It’s a confident move, but when instantly followed by the full-of-life Fuzzy – a swirling fusion of dance-funk and anthemic rock, with the frontman blowing raspberries and gleefully yelling ‘Woooo!’ throughout – it becomes pretty apparent how apt Greatest Hits is as a title.
It doesn’t mean that just because it sounds
like a total blast that it actually is, though. 2020 single Lowkey As Hell follows with the upsetting thought that, ‘I think people like me better when I’m hurt inside…’ while on Numb Awsten also wrestles with a similarly depressing idea: ‘You only like me when I’m numb / Now I’m mad about – I don’t know what / All I know is that this isn’t fun.’ In fact, no better approximation of the frontman’s dark thoughts – likely heightened as he slogged away on over 100 new Waterparks songs in his apartment throughout the pandemic – is Just Kidding, in which he bleakly admits, ‘I wish I was dead sometimes so I could spend a day alone / And not feel like everyone hates me…’ before adding, ‘Just kidding!’
As ever, his personality is at the core of Waterparks’ music. From the headfuck attitude of LIKE IT, to the hypnotic Snow Globe, to the gorgeously understated The Secret Life Of Me and the warmth of album highlight American Graffiti, this is a record just as colourful as its creator’s hair (which is handy). And while rapping about Bill Gates, Elon Musk, The Office’s Michael Scott and members of One Direction in closer See You In The Future might prove one step too far for some, for everyone else it’s all just a part of the ride.
Indeed, this is very weird shit. But it rules. Never stop being you, Waterparks.