published: 27 /
Sonmewhat lucklustre and disappointing third album from the Walkmen, who seems to have lost much of their former anger and the no-holds-barred back rock sound of their past
Back when they released the stunning song ‘The Rat’ in 2004 the Walkmen set a standard in pounding drums and raging vocals that has rarely been met since. Curiously, having put together an absolute benchmark in rocking out they seem to have had no interest in anything similar since.
'You and Me' takes another step along the route that the band was heading in 2006’s 'A Hundred Miles Off'. The drums that used to pound are mostly buried far down under the jangling guitars. Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s vocals used to sound like the air was tearing half his larynx out with the words. Now he meanders his way through lyrics in that louche manner which sounds like he is half cut on bourbon.
At some moments the elements all swirl together to create great music. ‘Red Moon’ and ‘Canadian Girl’ take the feeling of summer pop songs and filter it through the yearning of what sounds like a band subjected to a year of solid winter rain.
Much like their past releases though this album is a very hit and miss affair. For every good song there is a forgettable mash-up of half realised ideas where Leithauser sounds like he is just taking it easy until the next moment of real inspiration hits. The whole album – good and bad tracks alike – seems exhausted of all energy. This is the soundtrack at the end of a very long night indeed.
'You and Me' is not an easy album to like. Those who choose to persevere with it may find enough to justify the effort. Everyone else may have to wait until they get really angry again and the Walkmen decide to go no-holds-barred back to rock
Dónde Está La Playa
Flamingos (For Colbert)
On the Water
In the New Year
Seven Years of Holidays (For Stretch)
Postcards from Tiny Islands
Long Time Ahead of Us
The Blue Route
I Lost You
If Only It Were True