I didn't know what to expect from The Lumineers album other than the fact that I liked "Ho Hey" a lot.
But as it turned out, it wasn't all that different from Mumford & Sons, which I wrote about a week ago.
Which is a long way of saying: I like the album.
I have a few things to say about The Lumineers' eponymous album. (I'm so glad I got to use the word 'eponymous'!) One is that other than the catchiness, Mumford & Sons was not the first band that comes to mind when I heard the album - there are more direct parallels than that. The closest comparison, I think, that I can make is David Gray. Very similar singing voices there. Musically, they remind me a lot of my brother, actually, and it reinforced my belief that his music is better than good and would be enjoyed by a wider audience than currently exists. (But it's growing. He'll be fine. And while we're at it - click here, watch his video, and click "Support Now" to help get him a wider audience. Maybe you'll have more success than I did trying to support him - the 'support' link wasn't working for me. Thank you for helping out.)
Back to The Lumineers: Besides "Ho Hey" there are a number of good songs on the album - I particularly like "Submarines", "Stubborn Love", "Big Parade", and "Dead Sea". (I didn't even realize the timeliness of The Lumineers for this "Music Monday". They performed on 'Saturday Night Live' this week, and in addition to "Ho Hey" they played "Stubborn Love". They were good live too.)
There's a really raw feeling to the album. It's definitely not over-produced, but it seems like they went out of their way to make it sound simple. You can kind of hear that when you hear "Ho Hey" on the radio - there's background noise. There are a few of those instances on the album. It works. It makes you feel like you're listening to the band at some music hall.
This is exactly what I was hoping would happen with '365 New Things In 2013' and the "Music Monday" aspect of that venture - I think I have a new favorite band. I'm bummed I didn't get this album in time to go to their show in Boston in early February, but at least now I know to keep an eye out for the next time they're in town. I definitely want to see them live.
**Side note: I think the first time I heard "Ho Hey" might have been in the commercials for 'Silver Linings Playbook' back when that movie first came out. (Then I think I started hearing it on the radio.) But I bet the song has nothing to do with the movie, and isn't even on the soundtrack. (Do they still make soundtracks?) I remember this happening a lot in the past 20 years or so...and weirdly, I feel like 'Twister' used a really good song in its commercials that had nothing to do with the movie. I wonder what the deal is there where a company decides to use a song to help promote a movie but then they part ways and have nothing to do with one another. It's mutually beneficial I'm sure. Of course, I haven't seen 'Silver Linings Playbook' yet, so it may be in there and this whole point is moot. But I hope you get my point and I'm not the only one noticing this. Anyway. I also like The Lumineers' website. Check it out - I endorse this band.