The Lumineers – “Cleopatra” (2016)

Label: Decca Records/Universal Music

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Folk rock is how The Lumineers describe themselves and that is what they deliver with an emphasis on modern American influences. Wesley Schultz (guitar) has a country sounding voice backed with vocals and sparse arrangements from Jeremiah Fraites (drums) and Neyla Pekarek (cello, vocals). There is a quiet wistful acoustic tiredness to the album. The songs on “Cleopatra” are full of handclaps, acoustic (or clean electric) guitar rhythms, piano runs, percussive beats and they are distinct enough to make an impression after a few listens. You could be listening to a group of friends who are having an impromptu jam session after a big day out. With song titles like “Ophelia”, “Cleopatra” and “Anglea” the songs do have a loose theme of the feminine. There is a story in each song, though the song writing has some way to go before they reach the story telling of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, etc. However, it is evident the band are inspired by those artists. The album generally rewards repeated listening – in fact it requires a few listens to fully realize the uniqueness of each song. With the multi-instrumental strengths of the band, it was surprising to only have few moments when those instruments became obvious. It would be good to hear what the band would produce if they let their instrumental talent breathe more and to have more variety in the vocal delivery. “Cleopatra” is a pleasant album, though no song really stands out. To sample one of the upbeat tracks have a look at the music video for “Ophelia”.

Rating – 78/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Sleep On the Floor
  2. Ophelia
  3. Cleopatra
  4. Gun Song
  5. Angela
  6. In the Light
  7. Gale Song
  8. Long Way From Home
  9. Sick in the Head
  10. My Eyes
  11. Patience

 

Line Up

  • Wesley Schultz – Vocals & guitar
  • Neyla Pekarek – Cello & vocals
  • Jeremiah Fraites – Drums

Links

facebook.com/thelumineers

twitter.com/thelumineers

thelumineers.com