Known more for their energetic pop sound, the Northern Pikes are brought down a couple of notches on Neptune, an album that finds the band heading in an adult-oriented direction while leaving their rock & roll enthusiasm by the wayside. Although the album includes their finest song from a lyrical standpoint in "Believe," with "World's Away" and "Why Cry" not far behind, Neptune's overall feel as an album has them sounding distant and aloof. The effort is there, though, as cuts like "Somedays," "Straight Lines," and "The Way You Are" have dual singers Jay Semko and Bryan Potvin trying hard vocally, but the songs become burdened by stale choruses and bland guitar runs that end up sounding cloudy and enigmatic. Neptune suffers slightly from its failure to adhere well-written lyrics to music that could enhance them. Not overwhelmingly apparent but indeed noticeable, the Northern Pikes seem to be just frittering along on most of these tracks, which evidently led to the band's demise shortly after Neptune's release. Now out of print, the better tracks from the album can be found on Hits and Assorted Secrets, a compilation package.
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