Picture yourself in a tunnel. In a basement. Looking out a distant window.
The Walkmen's new album "You & Me" evokes some of these daydreams and more. Its swirling tones and opera house acoustics open up to reveal colors you never imagined existed. This is one of those albums that takes a few listens to realize the impact this release has left on your aural imprint. You may find yourself absent-mindedly humming a few bars here and there of this album. Some highlights include the moody power ballad "The New Year," "Postcards From the Islands," "Red Moon" and the stunning closer "If It Only Were True."
The lyrics dance out to you, emerging from beneath the heavy wave of lush horns and hypnotic guitar stylings. "The darkness is wrapped all around me tonight," singer Hamilton Leithauser proclaims in "Red Moon," a hauntingly mournful love song about missing a girl.
Yes, Leithauser's Bob Dylan-on-steroids vocals do take some time to get used to if you are used to more refined vocals, á la Coldplay. But after you get past that aspect, you are hooked. It reminds me of the feeling I had upon first listens of The National's "The Boxer" or Pela's
"You & Me" is definitely one of the best releases of 2008.
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