The Walkmen continue to shine with album ‘Lisbon’

Album: Lisbon

3.5 out of 5 Pitchfork

Artist: The Walkmen

Label: Fat Possum Records

For those who are fans of bands that quietly share their creativity, expertise and experiences, look no further than The Walkmen. Having recently played locally, The Walkmen have proudly taken their perfected sound on the road once again to promote the bands fifth meticulously crafted studio album, “Lisbon.”

The Walkmen are storytellers in the traditional sense, and yet, somehow they manage to weave bold tales of unique experiences with excitingly engaging musical compositions. Once again, they set their audience up for a series of deep, dark and personal reflections that promise plenty of twists and turns along the way. Expect a steady and comfortable pace throughout this record, one that will pleasantly surprise you with each track, just as it will satisfy the need to have someone else sing the words you know all too well.

Hamilton Leithauser will work you into a frenzy of frustration with “Angela Surf City,” and then calmly reassure you with the beautiful “Blue As Your Blood.”  However, the truly poignant jewel within the tracks of “Lisbon” is “Victory.” Located in the middle of the album, “Victory” seems to be the literal core of the album, as all the other tracks seem to gain their identity and strength through this heart-thumping triumphant ballad of the scorned.

As is the case with each of The Walkmen’s previous full-length studio albums, “Lisbon” is warm and very inviting, yet strangely isolated all the while. Parallels could be drawn regarding the effect this has had on their notoriety and success and vice versa, but after seeing them on this tour, comparisons like these mean little to the band. The Walkmen enjoy making music and playing live, more important than that, they are gifted at both.

Whether you find yourself returning for more of The Walkmen, or perhaps your first dose, “Lisbon” will not disappoint. These New York natives have a well established sound that has been given the due diligence it deserves with each album. It could be debated which is the cleanest of their albums, and “Lisbon” should certainly be given considerable consideration for the honor.

“Lisbon” is not without the raw feelings or nerves that go hand in hand with The Walkmen. Their ability to create sweeping crescendos with each track continues while simultaneously evoking emotions rarely expressed in mainstream music.

Of course, “Lisbon” does leave you wanting more. Where the album easily rolls from one track into the next, having it all come to an end is rather unsettling. Rest assured, from the sound of things, more could soon be available.

“Lisbon” proves to be another shining example of who The Walkmen are, and does an exceptional job at highlighting their ability to connect individually with their listeners by speaking universal truths on life, love and loss.

Reach the reporter at jbfortne@asu.edu


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