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The Walkmen step into town

| October 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

Having still not “gotten” the rabid praise and following The Walkmen’s 2008 release You & Me garnered, one listener feels it only fair to try again with the band’s latest and already similarly accoladed Lisbon only to come away still scratching the head wondering what all the fuss is about.

O.K., so the band’s signature moody dejection is a little more sprightly this time around — it’s probably no coincidence the single-most uptempo of the 11 cuts is titled “Woe Is Me” — and its usual sparse instrumentation is on occasion fleshed out with horn and string sections; which is probably why these ears found the Brechtian mariachi meets Salvation Army camp meeting waltz cut “Stranded” to be the CD’s most interesting and compelling piece of music. But with material whose lyrical epitomes include “You’re one of us or one of them” or “What’s mine is yours/what’s yours is yours” delivered by oh-so-self-absorbed, pathos-colored vocals and playing/musicianship that’s hardly in danger of breaking new ground, one again has to wonder what’s at work here. Perhaps it’s simply how the band so well fulfills the indie ideal as shined by the gloss of New York expectation, just as The Strokes did not so long ago, and which this listener similarly did not “get” either. (Wednesday@Metro with Japandroids.)

— David C. Eldredge

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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