By Emily Croft, Staff Writer
The Lumineers released their fourth album, Brightside, on Jan. 14. The album consists of eight songs, with a runtime of 30 minutes and 2 seconds. Brightside has an overarching theme of positivity and looking toward the brighter side of things. Since its release, the album has remained in the top spot of U.S. album debut charts.
The first song on the album is titled “BRIGHTSIDE” and was the first pre-album song released to promote the album. The song is upbeat and sounds like one of their previous songs: “Life in the City.” There are a lot of louder musical instruments in the background of this song, unlike some other songs on the album.
The other singles are “BIG SHOT” and “A.M. RADIO.” Both are upbeat, leaning more toward rock than folk. “BIG SHOT” revolves around the idea of an ex-friend who is in love with themself more than other people, giving the song a deeper ring to listeners who understand the complexities of friendship.
One of the top songs to come from the album is titled “WHERE WE ARE,” which ranked third in top U.S. song debuts. Co-founder of The Lumineers Wesley Schultz wrote the song partially from the perspective of enduring a car crash, an event he experienced in 2011.
If you’re an avid listener of The Lumineers, this may not be the album you love the most. It takes a different turn than the band’s previous albums.
I was definitely taken aback by the sound of the overall album when I first listened through. To me, it just doesn’t sound like The Lumineers I have known and loved most of my life because it doesn’t fit in with their previous discography.
The Lumineers’ previous albums are all titled with a Roman numeral to denote order. There is also typically a song or two on the most recent albums that are titled with the name of a girl or character. Brightside’s lack of these threw many fans for a loop.
The Lumineers’ third album had a plot that told a story in the music videos as well, creating a deeper connection between the songs. Brightside doesn’t have a lot of connection between songs; rather, it seeks to be a compilation, more or less, of their recent writings.
The previous albums also have longer runtimes and more songs, whereas this album felt short. I finished the album and felt like I was still waiting for more songs.
Overall, there were two songs that stuck out to me the most: “BIRTHDAY” and “ROLLERCOASTER.”I thought these two sounded the most like typical The Lumineers tracks. “BIRTHDAY” reminded me of some songs that had been on the band’s third album, III. “ROLLERCOASTER” illuminates the piano in the background, which is a staple of many of The Lumineer songs in general.
The other songs weren’t necessarily bad, but they simply didn’t stand out or draw my attention. I think The Lumineers have done better than what this album shows listeners.