Heaven – The Walkmen (May 2012)

Since the organ-blazing, drum-busting torrent of sound that was “The Rat” in 2004, The Walkmen have slowly taken their tower down piece by piece, and “We Can’t Be Beat” is the resulting essence (an essence that includes, blerg, Robin Pecknold).  Hamilton Leithauser gets off the most memorable words of the album (“I was the Pony Express, but I ran out of gas”), but I just can’t shake the image of drummer Matt Barrick sitting bored in the studio, sticks motionless.  Despite this album being as unfortunately vague sonically as it is lyrically, I hear five modest successes: The production and particularly the vocals  on “We Can’t Be Beat,” the meaningless “Love Is Luck,” the guitar wriggling around the I-IV-V while Leithauser sings “I’m not your heartbreaker/Some tender ballad-player,” the one where Leithauser sings himself sick about his daughter, and “Heaven,” a simplistic but darling plea for continued best-friendship to celebrate the band’s tenth anniversary.  Despite these terribly worthwhile moments showing up, Heaven is sparse, even relative to Lisbon, on which Leithauser seemed interested in taking photographs and singing them to us.  Here he attempts to paint pictures of scenes he can’t quite recall.

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Published in: on June 6, 2012 at 11:34 PM  Leave a Comment  

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