Walter Martin: We’re All Young Together (Family Jukebox) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Walter Martin

We’re All Young Together

Family Jukebox

May 13, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


We’re All Young Together is the kid-friendly, guest-bloated solo debut from Walter Martin, who served as a multi-instrumentalist in The Walkmen for nearly 15 years. If the inspiration for We’re All Young Together largely stemmed from Martin’s own proud papa status, on some level it’s probably liberating for him to make a record this youthful. After all, The Walkmen sounded winningly burned-out from the beginning; their earliest notoriety came with “We’ve Been Had,” an old-before-our-time jingle about failure.

Here, Martin dips into the playful purity of pre-psychedelic rock. Taking his template from Jonathan Richman, he’s crafted stripped-down yet lively compositions, typically built around acoustic guitar but peppered with offbeat accents.

The National’s Matt Berninger scores with a cameo that exploits his baritone’s latent Calvin Johnson-like goofiness, and it’s a genuine pleasure to hear Martin reconvene with fellow Walkman Hamilton Leithauser for a Beatles salute. But elsewhere, the rotating cast of vocalists contributes to a borderline-generic, Indie Kidz Bop feel. We’re All Young Together lacks a key element belonging to the best music of this ilk, from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and “Yellow Submarine” to Richman and Beat Happening: distinct melodicism that will keep any kind of listener—not just domestically-bound ones—coming back. (www.waltermartinmusic.com)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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