CD Review: The Walkmen - Lisbon


Grade: B+

Dude, The Walkmen are solid.  Back in the day, when “The O.C.” was still on, alive and kickin’ on television and Mischa Barton was still skinny, “Little House of Savages” was featured on the show and on their Season 2 soundtrack, which sort of put The Walkmen into the mainstream. Even with their mild commercial success, they have continued to evolve while still keeping complexity and originality into their music. Their newest effort “Lisbon” is no exception.


The whole tone of the album, which was recorded in an impressive five days, is everything a Walkmen fan wants and is probably expecting: it’s melodic, using interesting brass instruments, organs and pianos, and still has enough emotion in their lyrics to keep the listener from dozing off (hard to do, in my opinion.) Although not as loud and fast paced as some of their past albums (such as 2008’s “You & Me”, featuring the great tune “In The New Year”), it still pulls off a positive vibe without lead singer Hamilton Leithauser screaming his lungs out. How? It’s anticipation, my dear friends.


“Blue As Your Blood” stands out as one of the best tracks on the album, what with the fast, soft beats that just beckons the listener to sit on the edge of their seat waiting for the song to finally start jamming and when it doesn’t, when it only just keeps the beat beating in rhythm, that’s when you realize you love The Walkmen. They’re unpredictable, which is undoubtedly what makes them so incredibly unique, and is what makes them so great to listen to in the first place. “Woe Is Me” is another great track on the album, and a prime of example of being able to put substance to a nice jam song (as is “Stranded”, the first single from the album.) And, of course, one of the first tracks on the album “Angela Surf City” is a perfect balance of upbeat excitement with quality musicianship behind it.


The only thing one might have to say negative about The Walkmen is, sure, they’ve got chill vibes all around, but it might start to drag without a little loud pick-me-up scattered in once every few songs. Although songs like “All My Great Designs” are nice to vibe to for a minute, they tend to lull on without much of anything to them. Except, what the hell, in this crazy little world of ours maybe taking a 45-minute chill pill isn’t the worst thing.


Sounds Like: The Strokes and The Cure hung out and smoked some mad dank.

Download: Blue As Your Blood, Angela Surf City, Stranded

Listen to it When: Hungover on a Sunday, picking up the living room and recuperating.


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