The Lumineers
The Lumineers


4.0
excellent

Review

by PorkchopExpress USER (37 Reviews)
April 6th, 2012 | 21 replies | 12,521 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Are you the kind of person who likes saying things like "I was listening to these guys before they got big"? If so, stop reading and just go get this album right now.

7 of 8 thought this review was well written

In the past few years, folk-influenced roots-rock has seen a large increase in popularity. Many people (myself included) watched this revival happen with an untrusting eye. Sure, the music is pleasant enough, but I couldn't help but think that it felt too manufactured, too...artificial. It's absurd on my part, I realize, because a lot of bands I listen to (and I would even argue most bands in general) have a very calculated look and style. Knowing that hasn't done much to change my mind, but at least I realize it.

Enter Denver's The Lumineers, a band poised for big things. Sure, they share the same DNA as their contemporaries in the genre: Americana-tinged folk, complete with the requisite banjos, hand-claps, and mandolins. However, there was something about this band that grabbed me in a way that none of the other bands to ride this trend had managed to do. After giving the album a few listens, I realized that "something" turned out to be a few things.

First and foremost, this album lacks the sheen of an album like "Sigh No More". Take first single--and song that gained them some attention in the first place--"Ho Hey". It's the type of song that has potential to be a huge single, yet there's no polish to the instruments, and the backing vocals sound ethereal, like they're coming from a totally different place. Or, if you'd rather, it sounds like a handful of people took some equipment into a barn and cranked out a song, and the backing vocalists are literally standing outside. There's a natural, inescapable energy to the song that carries it along through its two and a half minute run-time. Being that it was the first thing anyone knew about them, and it's such a fantastic song, they left themselves with quite the hard act to follow. Luckily, they manage to come very close throughout most of the album, even surpassing that song with one other.

The other thing that managed to push them past the rest of the pack for me is the fact that they manage to blend other genres into their sound as well. "Dead Sea", for example, sounds like what I imagine a song would sound like if David Gray were fronting Whiskeytown. It helps that Wesley Shultz's pretty yet somewhat raspy vocals call his to mind on occasion. Album opener "Flowers In Your Hair" falls more toward alt-country than roots-rock, followed by two rollicking songs in "Classy Girl" and "Submarines".

The two aforementioned tracks (Dead Sea, Ho Hey) follow, and then the aptly titled "Slow It Down" takes its place as the album centerpiece. It's also the moment that it becomes apparent that there is a lot more to this band than would appear on the surface. A beautiful, sparse ballad, it breaks what could have been the monotony of the album, while cleansing the palate for the second half. This is very smart sequencing, especially since it's followed by the strongest track on the album, "Stubborn Love". Yearning yet still optimistic, it's a stunner of a song, with lots of potential to be something huge. The album finishes out with four more strong tracks, including the baroque "Flapper Girl" and big ballad closer "Morning Song", which may have been a momentum killer elsewhere, but works perfectly as an album closer.

Some people are going to see this review and know right away that this is something they're interested in, while others may think this is something they wouldn't even bother with. If you fall into the latter category, I at least suggest you give it a shot. You may find yourself as surprised as I was. While I'm still not sold on the roots-rock revival, I've found something from it that has piqued my interest. Perhaps this will lead me to eventually go back and check some of it out with a more open mind. And if I still don't feel any different, I will still have this album to enjoy.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
PorkchopExpress
April 6th 2012



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So here's "Ho Hey", if you haven't heard it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4

And here's "Stubborn Love":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnTxjfVZlPs

CaptainDooRight
April 6th 2012



28355 Comments


summary is quite convincing[did i spell that right]

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

CaptainDooRight
April 7th 2012



28355 Comments


the fuk




PorkchopExpress
April 7th 2012



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I have no idea what that was, or whether I should be freaked out that this was his first (and so far only) comment. I had no idea what to put for a summary, so I'm glad that works.

Tim00w
April 12th 2012



41 Comments


I'm that kind of guy

DiceMan
July 31st 2012



7068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

review sucks, album is actually really great.

Douglas
October 28th 2012



9061 Comments


This is a really sweet album.

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2012



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

mxbrady
February 1st 2013



929 Comments


...good call in the summary.

Skimaskcheck
February 5th 2013



2360 Comments


very... enjoyable

Noteros
February 10th 2013



52 Comments


Why are these guys bigger than any other folk artist...? I don't see what sets them apart...

InbredJed
February 11th 2013



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I would give a great deal to be able to write that well, nice job.

You captured a lot of my feelings about the current music happenings, and I agree with your comments about this band. Have a hearty pos

Cygnatti
February 15th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this sucks

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

10songsblog
February 18th 2013



11 Comments


I don't mind the folk/bluegrass revival except that it has become trendy while not managing to make new audiences go back and listen to the originators Earl Scruggs, Joan Baez, Hazel Dickens, Pete Seeger, Ricky Skaggs etc. And so I always find myself wondering what bands do they look up to or listen to in the chosen genre, who influenced them and what do they know of the legacy and history of this music.

Because without that knowledge for me, no matter how good the music may be, it will resonate as inauthentic, not lyrically maybe, but musically as if they took the shopping list of folk and bluegrass and went to the store. I think, "Ho Hey" is catchy as hell though, just need to know more about the band's history before I buy into this whole revival of dressing like owners of a general store who sing "old timey" music on the side.

cinaedus
June 16th 2013



26298 Comments


sucks shit

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

tommygun
June 16th 2013



23615 Comments


ho hey is just the worst thing

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

cinaedus
June 16th 2013



26298 Comments


agreed

MikeC26
June 16th 2013



3147 Comments


Lame band

BigHans
June 21st 2013



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

For some reason decided to randomly jam this on Spotify, sucks hard

wacknizzle
June 21st 2013



12639 Comments


Band has the worst name, screams pretentious mid 30's hipster bullshit. I wouldn't doubt that's what this sounds like.

Digging: Systems - Ghost Medicine



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