The Walkmen

Heaven

Fat Possum

May 29, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer Bookmark and Share


For their seventh album, Heaven, The Walkmen hired Phil Ek (Built To Spill, The Shins, Modest Mouse, Les Savy Fav, etc.) to handle production duties. It's safe to assume this choice had something to do with The Walkmen opening for Fleet Foxes last year, as Ek produced both of Fleet Foxes' LPs. Ek is a superb choice, and it's not surprising The Walkmen would want to work with him. What's surprising is how much The Walkmen sound like Fleet Foxes on Heaven.

After 10 years together, a band typically grows more polished and mature, but it's difficult not to feel that something essential and elemental to The Walkmen's aesthetic is missing from most of Heaven-that palpable sense of urgency on display throughout their catalogue is on display far too little. 

That said, the album is still a top-notch collection of songs. The title track and "Heartbreaker" showcase the band in fine, urgent form. With its lapping surf-guitar lines, "Heartbreaker" could pass for an outtake from Pixies' Doolittle. "Southern Heart" features nothing more than singer Hamilton Leithauser alone with an acoustic guitar, and it is the quietest song on the album; the coda's repeating refrain, "Tell me again how you loved all the men you were after," is absolutely divine. (www.thewalkmen.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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Somegirl
June 6th 2012
9:45pm

Wow, really not feeling Southern Heart, but Heartbreaker is pretty good. And REALLY disagree with the writer about the repeating refrain being divine… gives me the creeps.

Jeffrey Ronny
July 5th 2012
2:07am

The Walkmen is really an outstanding music album. I love its all flawless tunes and interesting tracks amazingly. I know that this is a band typically grows more polished and mature. Thanks :)