Local Natives
Hummingbird


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nathan Taft USER (22 Reviews)
January 29th, 2013 | 96 replies


Release Date: 01/29/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flirting with greatness

Albums like this never fail to bring a smile to my face, but not for reasons one might expect.

Sure, the record contains fantastic drumming, solid vocals and guitar work that would make lesser bands jealous. And yes, the sound is enough of a departure from their last outing to make it interesting, but not enough to alienate old fans. Even the lyrics achieve their goal of ensuring multiple listens in an effort to understand the meaning behind them.

None of the above, though, is what stood out to me about the album. No, the best part is the potential it brings to the table.

As good as “Hummingbird” is - and it is quite good - it’s not an instant classic, and I doubt even time will make it one. However, what’s apparent throughout the release is that Local Natives are definitely on track for big things.

With the exception of a few songs, their soft-spoken debut, “Gorilla Manor,” never really demanded my attention. I had to listen carefully before realizing the album was more than it first seemed. “Hummingbird,” on the other hand, grabbed me right from the start and rarely let go, and even the two “Gorilla Manor”-esque tracks, "Ceilings," and "Three Months," fit in nicely as a break from the Local Natives new, more adventurous sound. And while most of the less shy tracks are great as well, “Heavy Feet” most certainly is not.

It's downright brilliant.

The song is an unfolding tragedy tinged with pangs of hope, as a man struggles with the concept of life after death, after losing someone close to him who was certain of it. Sonically, there's the methodically rapid drumbeat always pushing the song forward, complemented during the chorus by a perfectly timed clap beat that temporarily alleviates the semi-optimistic yet downcast mood of the song. And all of the above is made even more potent by the poignant vocals and well-placed guitar bits.

Again, the potential the song exposes is why this album made such a great impression on me. Not because lead single "Breakers " soaring Oo's make me feel strangely at peace. Not because the main riff of the aptly named "Wooly Mammoth " almost sounds like a wooly mammoth shaking its trunk - listen if you don't believe me. It's not even the emotional free-flowing guitar solo to end the album on "Bowery" - although to be honest, all of the above do help.

No, I'm happy mainly because I now know several things. I know the Local Natives can produce more than one solid outing, despite the fact that this album suffers from a few similar sounding songs and one or two weaker tracks. I also know that they can produce a classic track like "Heavy Feet." But most importantly, I know that the Local Natives have the potential to craft an album that will blow this already excellent record clean out of the water.

4.2/5

Recommended Tracks:

Heavy Feet
Breakers
Bowery
Wooly Mammoth
Black Balloons



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user ratings (216)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alexander Mee (4)
Hummingbird is excellent, but latently so....


Comments:Add a Comment 
humblerodent
January 28th 2013


211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Positive and/or negative feedback? This is my first time posting a review here in a while, and the first time under this username. Letting me know what you thought of the review will help me construct a better review next time. Thanks

Digging: Twenty One Pilots - Twenty One Pilots

HeyListen
January 28th 2013


42 Comments


Good review. I think I enjoyed the album to the same degree you did.

dixoncocks
January 28th 2013


2583 Comments


Heavy feet is real nice

Digging: Haste the Day - Attack of the Wolf King

humblerodent
January 28th 2013


211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks
I can't wait to hear their next release

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2013


19785 Comments


I think the review is great. Straightforward and easy to follow. I have the debut album it's alright I agree it has a couple good songs but didn't stick with me. I always thought they had potential though . Anyways, pos'd.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2013


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cover is a nice tribute to when tommy wiseu almost pushed mark off the roof

Anthracks
January 29th 2013


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a clone of pitchfork's review

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2013


10453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

album rules

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

wacknizzle
January 29th 2013


13378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gorilla Manor was awesome so I was really looking forward to this. AP gave it like a 2.5 and it really let me down but their reviews suck and are wrong all the time. This review is giving me hope though, pos'd. I'll put this on after I'm done jamming Headhunters.

Digging: Torch Runner - Endless Nothing

humblerodent
January 29th 2013


211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna have to go read Pitchfork's review
[Edit] I see some similarities, but I don't see how it was "a clone" by any means

North0House2
January 29th 2013


5857 Comments


BUT NEEDLEDROP DIDN'T LIKE IT SO MUST SUCK.

Just kidding, I'm pretty excited to hear this. Gorilla Manor was a pleasant little debut.

Digging: Zelienople - The World Is A House On Fire

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2013


23841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

totally forgot about the new Local Natives album. I was like "why the hell are they touring again?" Will acquire immediately

Good review! (or maybe it wasn't idk I didn't read it)

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2013


6450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is starting to grow on me. Shouldn't have rated it so soon.

Good work.

CasinoColumbus
January 29th 2013


340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like some of these songs, but I find others to be a bit dull at times. Maybe it needs to grow on me, but I don't really see my rating changing in the future.

AutoRock
January 29th 2013


416 Comments


BUT NEEDLEDROP DIDN'T LIKE IT SO MUST SUCK.

Just kidding, I'm pretty excited to hear this. Gorilla Manor was a pleasant little debut.

Haha needledrop.

I liked Gorilla Manor. Will check this out.

alachlahol
January 29th 2013


7489 Comments


sweet. indie rock daaaayyzzz

Anthracks
January 29th 2013


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's the same type of subdued songwriting that grizzly bear employ; always flirting with climax but never reaching it. that's the extent of the songwriting and i doubt they will magically change for their next release, so i don't think looking forward to their next one is a good idea. instead, enjoy this one and stop giving yourself an excuse not to

alachlahol
January 29th 2013


7489 Comments


sounds just like the last album

alachlahol
January 29th 2013


7489 Comments


one room mate who doesnt know crap about rock was like "yo is this the natives" and i said "yeah its
the new one" and he said "hmmm interesting" and then he walked away cause he knows its the same
frikkin thing as the last one

Anthracks
January 29th 2013


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

which is why people are stupid when they say things like "this shows a lot of potential so i can't wait for their next album!" this is their songwriting style and i doubt it will change, the same way grizzly bear's never changed and people have constantly given them shit about their "potential" to be great despite consistently reaching greatness.

it's an easy critique to make of any subdued music. the fact is you either like it or you don't it has nothing to do with potential



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