Posted from The Citrus Report
There has always been that something with The Walkmen. The vintage instruments and rough mixes that make each album sound like relics from decades past has been a something. The Louisiana by way of the Lower East Side sound is another something. “The Rat,” “Wake Up,” “In The New Year,” and “Louisiana” are the other somethings, the big songs that have trademarked each past album.
What we have been most impressed with The Walkmen over the past decade, post-Jonathan Fire*Eater and Recoys, is that the sound of the band have been tinkered so that any semblance of post-punk has been completely dislodged from their repertoire, and a new sound that is completely original has begun to surface. Sure, Hamilton Leithauser vocals have channeled a bit of Dylan over the past 3 albums, but we may actually be hearing the way he naturally is supposed to sounds as opposed to retreading classic American albums of past. Now tracks on Lisbon, like “Stranded” or “All My Great Designs” (with Beatle-esque backing harmonies) sound like nothing else being done in other contemporary bands. The music is romantic, longing, lush, and warm. “Victory” has the trademark building drum line that has made the band stand out in previous efforts, but Leithauser vocals strain and power to levels that seem not pushing, but engaging. This suits the band quite well.
Lisbon, after a few listens, has become to us one of the most solid albums of the year. As a full body of work, this could be the most impressive album in the bands’ career. Although lacking in the power song like “Rat” or “New Year,” the band makes up for it with 11 cohesive moments.