If The Lumineers’ last album, “III” was lightning in a bottle, “BRIGHTSIDE” is a drop of concentrate — it is shorter (nine tracks), with quiet moments that are quieter, loud moments that are louder and a sense of urgency that propels each track into the next
“BRIGHTSIDE,” The Lumineers (Dualtone Records)
It will be hard for The Lumineers to top their immersive 2019 masterpiece “III” — a three-part concept album and accompanying short film exploring the cycle of addiction through generations. 所以, they didn’t try to.
反而, 这 丹佛 band, consisting of founding members and songwriters Wesley Shultz and Jeremiah Fraites, went in a different direction entirely on their fourth LP, “BRIGHTSIDE.”
If their last album was lightning in a bottle, this album is a drop of concentrate — it is shorter (nine tracks), with quiet moments that are quieter, loud moments that are louder and a sense of urgency that propels each track into the next.
It’s a typical Lumineers album in many ways. Shultz and Fraites are masters of storytelling and “BRIGHTSIDE” is no exception. The catchy “WHERE WE ARE” is vivid in its imagery: “Crashed the car in 亚利桑那 on the interstate/ 人们 pullin’ over cryin’ thinkin’ we were dead.”
What separates “BRIGHTSIDE” from albums past is a raw quality, like sitting in on a jam session. Strings are sparse, instead relying on piano, percussion and guitar to carry the record. Songs like the stripped down “A.M. RADIO” with its acoustic guitar lead in have a simplicity that allow the craftsmanship to shine.
The Lumineers may not have toured for “III” in 2020 as planned, but they chose to look on the bright side of a difficult situation, giving fans some playful tracks bristling with hopefulness as society peers forward to a life beyond the pandemic.