The Lumineers – Cleopatra
Americana | Folk
I thought I had The Lumineers all figured out. I thought they were America’s answer to Mumford & Sons, that their massive hit ‘Ho Hey’ would be the peak of their accomplishments and that they would soon just fade away. Cleopatra proves me wrong. Rather than fall victim to the curse of the second album they have come back stronger than ever and are standing just as tall, if not more so, than the Mumford lads. This is not some indie band playing around with a folk gimmick, the band has matured and have worked hard to create something meaningful. Cleopatra has no qualms about pursuing another hit single, instead the band have created a consistently good album. It is an understated and cultured affair that, at only about half an hour long, is completely devoid of filler.
The album’s charm lies in it’s bare bones approach. The majority of songs contain little more than vocals and simple acoustic guitar, leaving them feeling more direct and personal in their delivery. When other instruments are added into the equation even just the slightest scattered hints can open up the album to whole new horizons. The small bursts of electric guitar on ‘Sleep On The Floor’ and the title track, and the sweet subtle piano on ‘Ophelia’ and ‘In The Light’, really lift up the album. It may be a little top heavy with the best songs all in the first half but The Lumineers have exceeded my expectations and have made something to be proud of. Without another big hit single it might lack the exposure that it deserves, but Cleopatra is a risk that from an artistic point of view has definitely paid off. This is music for the people and on just about every level things just fall into place.