The Lumineers (from the album Brightside available on Dualtone Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
There’s a reason why certain bands attain massive success and subsequently soar to the top of the charts. Granted, to the untrained observer, it can sometimes seem inexplicable. On the other hand, talent and tenacity generally prove to be an invincible combination.
Brightside, The Lumineers’ ever-engaging new album, demonstrates yet again why there’s been such an irresistible urge to proclaim them as superstars. Their over-arched melodies and compelling, captivating sound practically demanded instant acclaim, suggesting they possessed both the credibility and consistency needed to inform a decidedly anthemic approach. True to form, certain songs seem to sum up their stance, as a lyric from “Big Shot” shares so succinctly:
‘…you want to be a big shot
You wanna be the big man
You wanna hold a big gun
You gotta have a quick hand’
On the other hand, there are plenty of poignant passages as well, a sign that suggests for all their effusive insistence, they’re in search of the same answers as the rest of us. ‘I don’t know where we are’, they proclaim on “Where We Are”. ‘But it will be okay’.
It’s that sense of reassurance, translated with craft and coherence, that make The Lumineers such an irresistible proposition. Whether singing of yearning and desire via the title track, or creating a crescendo that builds to one crest after another, as with “Reprise” and “Rollercoaster”, the material is teeming with triumph, an unstoppable surge that demands immediate attention. It’s an irresistible urge so strong and steady, it’s hard to question the fact that they’re operating with power and proficiency. If credibility and confidence go hand in glove, then it’s clearly apparent The Lumineers have the ability to share them in sync.
Based on its aural impact alone, Brightside will likely be hailed as yet another soaring success. Flush with platitudes, enthusiasm and riveting refrains, it has all the ingredients necessary to position it on a pedestal where all the most essential albums reside. True to its title, Brightside illuminates the fact that The Lumineers deserve all the kudos they’ve managed to muster.
(By Lee Zimmerman)
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