Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CD Review: You and Me

The Walkmen
Release: 2008

Comments: One of the top 3 albums of 2008, You and Me is a departure from the up-tempo jams from Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone and the vocally sensible tune of A Hundred Miles. You and Me is a lyrically brilliant and instrumentally fascinating take on minimalism. The post-punk is gone and in is a wider range of orchestral pieces -- pianos, horns, strings, and percussion. The lyricism -- in the form of a second person self-reflection in "The Blue Route" and first person lament about a one night stand in "Donde Esta La Playa" is a small sampling of the variety The Walkmen cover in this album. The imagery is nothing short of spectacular either. "Sun goes down/Moon comes up/Sky is black and blue/Here I stand/Honey, with you," makes up the last few lines of "Four Provinces," a highlight of the record speaking about never leaving a much-loved girlfriend. One of the most critically receptive tracks is "In The New Year." A man and a woman. Always together. The man's family is concerned if he and his girlfriend will get married or not. "If Only It Were True" answers their concerns. With less instrumentation and more voice, the man (Hamilton Leithouser) acknowledges it's a dream for them to be married. An unrealistic dream. In "Postcards From Tiny Islands," the thought of suicide is brought up, perhaps after an incredibly drunken night. The tempo of the song shifts with the thoughts of the singer. "Seven Years of Holidays" represent the "wild nights" of early adulthood, age 18-25. The Holidays are over; the singer must move on and start concentrating on more important, less "wild," things in life like getting married and building a home and family. In conclusion, the concept of this album -- but more so the execution in recording -- is one consisting of a path of ambiance not ever taken before. And sometimes that's just what is needed for the perfect album.

Grade: 9.8

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