The Lumineers’ fourth studio album

Keaton Chappel, Volunteer Writer

The Lumineers are one of those bands that continue to have success despite their lack of mainstream recognition in comparison to other groups. Though they may be labeled in the genre of indie folk, their music continues to evolve with each new album that is released, and their new album “BRIGHTSIDE” is no exception.

The album as a whole relies heavily on distorted electric guitars and soft piano tracks to give what is a relatively unique sound coming from The Lumineers.

Starting off with the album’s titular song and first single, “BRIGHTSIDE” gives a good feel for how the album as a whole is going to go. Alongside the beautiful cover art, the opening track exudes a sense of freedom and optimism. The lyrics describe a story of finding happiness even in unfortunate scenarios such as being “stranded on the bridge,” and “crying for your kids,” followed by the hopeful chorus exclaiming “I’ll be your brightside, baby, tonight.”

The second song and third single to be released, “A.M. RADIO”, is a wonderful anthem about ending up where you are meant to be, no matter where you have been. This is one of my personal favorites, from its slowly building verses, to its soul striking drum beat, and onto the catchy chorus that you just want to scream out the window on your midnight drive.

“WHERE WE ARE” may not be as strong of a number as the past two, but it does keep the album moving right along into another optimistic tune, recalling the vents of a real-life car-wreck. The song continues a theme of catchy chorus’ with soft verses that make the listener feel not so alone in their struggles. While maybe one of the band’s more simpler tunes lyrically, it still manages to provide that
familiar Lumineers’ sound that we all know and love.

After what some, including myself, would call a slight dip in quality, “BIRTHDAY” comes right along and scores another win for the album. The song is a bit livelier than its precedents, and it even kicks it up another notch towards the end of the track in one of the final choruses. This is undoubtedly one of the most fun songs on the LP, and in my humble opinion is the true successor to Happy Birthday.

“BIG SHOT” is the fifth song on the track and the second single to be released, and with a beautiful piano accompaniment, this song continues with optimistic lyrics. With passionate vocals and another catchy chorus, this song delivers, but doesn’t do anything particularly impressive or adventurous. It is a solid track that keeps the album moving along while preserving the overall theme and sound. Track number six is my personal favorite. “NEVER REALLY MINE” is one of the most passionate songs from the group and has some of the best vocals of any track they have released. The distorted guitar backing the repeated lyrics “love was not designed for time, you were never really mine” sang in an upbeat tone creates a deceptively happy tune that will get you singing along while also breaking your heart.

While the seventh track is called “ROLLERCOASTER,” this song is anything but that. As one of the more peaceful and low-key sounds on the track, this song is a good follow-up to the energetic and high tempo one that precedes it. Song number eight, “REMINGTON,” is the shortest song on the album at just under two minutes. This short, slow song is a great penultimate track and gives familiar vibes to The Lumineers’ previous album “III”.

My only wish is that this song, along with the rest of the album, were a bit lengthier.

The closing track is certainly one of the best songs of the bunch, and does an incredible job wrapping up the album. “REPRISE” recalls back to the titular opening track with similar lyrics, and makes you want to start over and listen to it all again.

This album, while certainly not the best from The Lumineers, is a solid album with several songs worthy of being added to your everyday playlists, and no songs worthy of a skip when you are listening through. One disappointing aspect of the album is the length. Coming in at just over 30 minutes, the nine songs make this album the shortest. One can only hope that a deluxe version will be released with some bonus songs to satisfy that itch for more music.