Published on June 12th, 2012 | by RMX0
A Music Album Review of ‘Heaven’ by ‘the Walkmen’
Leaving the review aside, listening to the album is a revelation. There is every sign that ‘Heaven‘ by ‘The Walkmen’ is going to be on the record books for some time, thanks to the band’s fans who have been eagerly awaiting the material. David Byrne is credited with describing a heavenly existence where little happens and that is perhaps one of the themes for Hamilton Leithauser as he sings the title track. This is the band’s 7th album and they do not stretch their talents above the basic premise of enjoyment. A power pop melody is used to subdue some ringing guitars and some interesting rhythmic sections.
Despite the seemingly laid back conception of the album, there is a certain sense of urgency in ‘Heaven‘ by ‘The Walkmen’. For example there is a section where the lead singer pleads for stability. He also pleads that his best friend should never leave him. The references to romantic tales of distant years are almost a mature album of a disillusioned group. That is not the case: this is a vibrant musical act that is merely opening our eyes to the possibilities if we get away from the standard singing technique that has become so insidious.
A decade ago the band was sometimes dismissed a bunch of hard-drinking New Yorkers. Now we know that ‘Heaven‘ by ‘The Walkmen’ is a sign of maturity. In this review we were impressed by the transformation. It is much quieter than their effort in 2002 with ‘Everyone who Pretended to like me is Gone’. In the closing moments you get the nostalgia as powerful as anything on record. He tells us to ‘remember all we fight for’. Technically the singing is good if not astonishing but the whole package is deeply moving.
Is this a case of ‘Dad Rock’? Although members of the group are now fathers in their own right, their music continues to appeal to the younger and modern generation. The use of grown-up themes means that you are given the chance to review this album on a deeper level. They talk about romance, infidelity, disillusionment and hope. These are things which we live and die for. The album ‘Heaven‘ is therefore realistic. ‘Witch’ has an appealing film-noir quality while ‘Nightingales’ gently draws you in. Perhaps the classic is ‘Heartbreaker’ with its bravura guitar player. ‘Line by Line’ is an emotional rollercoaster before the serenity of ‘Song for Leigh’.
This is most certainly a grown-up album and we are grateful for that. Reviewing dizzy pop can be boring after some time. An overly pessimistic approach to writing may not appeal to everybody. Perhaps they intended to dish out advice.