The band’s studio autonomy, tours, managers and personal projects stalled the recording process, which lasted from shortly after the band’s February 2009 reunion to July 2011. The band developed Neighborhoods in separate studios and regrouped at various periods to record. The band’s numerous delays in the recording process resulted in the band canceling a European tour and the label setting a deadline for the album to be due. The trio wrote lyrics regarding such subjects as isolation, confusion and death. The band infused inspiration from each member’s various musical tastes to form a unique sound that recalled their separate upbringings, leading the trio to compare the album to separate neighborhoods.
There’s a reason Nwandi Lawson titled her workshop at the recent Rabbani Trust [Baha’i] Conference [on Social and Economic Development] in Orlando, Florida, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
She hopes each of us becomes the kind of neighbor the late Fred Rogers was to generations of young television viewers and their parents.
“Doesn’t he just epitomize neighborhood?” asks Lawson. “He’s really excited to be your neighbor.
“He’s not saying I’m doing you a favor by coming to your neighborhood. No, he says, I have always wanted to live in the neighborhood with you, always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
“To me, you can just hear in his song the importance of being neighborly. He actually begs you to be his neighbor.”
And Lawson says that spirit can infuse our own efforts to reach out to neighbors and initiate core activities aimed at making the neighborhood a better place.