The Walkmen – Heaven [Album]
The Walkmen are an indie rock band with members based both in New York and in Philadelphia. The group formed in 2000, following the break-up of two separate bands: Jonathan Fire*Eater and The Recoys. The Walkmen released their first EP in 2001 and their debut album in 2002. Heaven, released on May 29th, 2012, is the band’s 7th full-length album.
The album opens gently, with the acoustic track “We Can’t Be Beat.” The relative simplicity of the track allows the listener to pay attention to the lyrics, which contain an irrefutable beauty, and prove the group to be more-than-capable song writers.
Most of the other tracks contain mixed electric/acoustic instrumentation, with the electric guitars distorted just enough to make them sound different. The drums are quiet yet steady, and the lyrics are always superb. At times, the group branches out a little in sound, with sleigh bells playing a prominent role in the track “Nightingales,” and “Southern Heart” containing a lazy vocal drawl that stands out much more than the heavily-muffled acoustic guitar accompaniment. The track borders on spooky, with a kind of haunted charm that makes the listener both uneasy and eager for more.
The album is a strong one, showcasing all of the group’s talents. There are times when it rocks, times when it is intimate, and times when it experiments. And yet, all of these disparate elements combine to form a work that is not only coherent, but masterful. The album is available on iTunes for $9.99. “Heaven,” the title track, is available for listen below.