Album Review: The Walkmen – Lisbon

So the Walkmen have a new album coming out pretty soon, and I thought I’d jot down a quick review!  Lisbon finds the band still sounding like the Walkmen on their fifth album, and that is just perfect.  In order to show you where I’m coming from, I need to tell you when and how I got into the group originally…

My introduction into the Walkmen was Bows + Arrows, which many people think is their best album.  I do as well, and after listening to that, it’s no surprise that I found their debut a but boring in comparison only.  I know it’s a good album, but up against their fantastic second, it’s easy to look down upon.  The followup that came next was A Hundred Miles Off, and I’ll agree with the world when saying that the album was a bit of a disappointment.  It’s not bad, once again, but just not as majestic as their sophomore outing, and maybe a bit too commercial as well.  Pussycats was a fun side note and obviously not in their original canon, but You & Me reasserted them as a band that could achieve success once more.  It was dark and brooding, but still within the sound they crafted on their first two albums.  People liked it and I liked it, but now comes Lisbon

The standouts on the album, as I see it, are “Stranded,” “Torch Song,” and “Angela Surf City.”  “Stranded” has an awesome R&B vibe to it, and I never thought the Walkmen could fill it so well.  In retrospect, it makes sense because Hamilton does have quite a bit of soul in his voice.  “Angela Surf City” is great cause of its drumming, which brings to mind “The Rat” but a bit more mature in nature.  The song could easily stand on its own though, even without the stellar past comparison.

The rest of the album is still incredibly solid, especially the drums (on just about every track).  Matt Barrick really knows what he’s doing, and the band would not be what they are without him.  Lisbon is much lighter when up against You & Me, which was much more intense, but it’s good that the band can stretch itself without going too far (like on their third album).  All in all, this new album is great, and my one recommendation for the band is to chill out for a year or two and let it sink in.  If the band does something like Beck’s Record Club, it would let them keep having fun without supersaturating our poor hipster eager ears from their excellent music.

In the end, the Walkmen have always been the band I put on when I’m not sure if I want to go to bed yet.  If I don’t, I know they will be entertaining and invigorating.  If I do, I know they’ll be somber enough to lull me to sleep.  Now that’s a sign of a good band…

The Walkmen – Angela Surf City

Go preorder the album from iTunes or maybe ze myspaces!


One response to “Album Review: The Walkmen – Lisbon

  1. Pingback: Top 20 Albums of 2010: Part One (20-11) | racecar spacecar

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