Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Walkmen: "Lisbon" (album review)

Over the course of five previous albums Brooklyn's The Walkmen have cultivated a pretty good sized audience with their brand of non-threatening indie rock.  The band may very well have jumped the shark though with their forthcoming album Lisbon (out September 14th).

The band's songs have never been terribly catchy or infectious, but on the new album they take non-descript to an entirely new level.  Tracks like "Stranded" and "While I Shovel Snow" range from bland to downright dull.  Even worse is the breezy undertones that give a handful of songs, like "Juveniles", a grating surf vibe.

The only flash of tension comes with the slow-building track "Blue As Your Blood".  The clatter of "Angela Surf City" shows an all too rare flash of excitement", while "Victory" features the only vaguely memorable chorus.  Those tracks can hardly make up for song after song of near comatose performances that sound more like half-formed demos than they do a completed album.

In the end Lisbon is the sound of band going through the motions.  After a few listens you'll have wished they hadn't even bothered.

The Walkmen play The Phoenix in Toronto on October 9th.

Best track: "Blue As Your Blood"

Track listing for Lisbon:
  • Juveniles
  • Angela Surf City
  • Follow the Leader
  • Blue As Your Blood
  • Stranded
  • Victory
  • All My Great Desgins
  • Woe Is Me
  • Torch Song
  • Lisbon
  • While I Shovel the Snow
The Walkmen's website
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Aidy said...

Lol "non-descript to an entirely new level".

Anonymous said...

This review is so funny. Lisbon is great! But I guess not very enjoyable if you're looking for fast rocking tracks (which I would say are the weakest on the new album, except Blue As Your Blood). Btw, Walkmen have recorded some of the best singles of the decade -which I feel sometimes plays against themselves, as for my modest opinion, the "non-singles" are sometimes superior. But only few seem to listen.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous, the album was really good, the walkmen arent interested in making rock pop like the rat, they are an art rock group. I think their underplayed
stuff like canadian girl or no christmas while im talking. Lisbon was amazing.