The Lumineers release sophomore album ‘Cleopatra’


In 2012, The Lumineers burst onto the scene with their indie-folk anthem “Ho Hey,” an upbeat number that put them into the global spotlight 10 years after their formation.
Now, four years after the success of their first single that is seemingly impossible to top, The Lumineers’ sophomore album, “Cleopatra,” shows a more serious side to their music.
The album as a whole is not as cheery as their first self-titled album, “The Lumineers,” but comes with the same heart and arguably more captivating songwriting this time around.
Wesley Schultz, lead vocalist and guitarist, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly before its release, “It’s a heavier record . . . This lifestyle can make you crazy.”
The opening track, “Sleep on the Floor,” is a standout on the album with a sound that fans will instantly recognize.
It doesn’t have the same clap-along, campfire spirit of “Ho Hey,” but its soft percussion and driving vocals are reminiscent of the band’s previous work.
It’s a nice little song about a man pleading to his girlfriend to run away with him, despite the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
“Ophelia,” the first single from the album, appears to be a simple love song with relatively few lyrics.
Schultz, however, admitted that he wrote it with the band’s newfound fame in mind.
At first the sudden fame was all that they could have hoped for, but later began to feel like somewhat of a burden, a sentiment that’s been expressed by famous musicians for decades.
“It’s about caring so much about the people around me, and wondering if we’re all going to be all right,” Schultz said.
The title track, “Cleopatra,” mourns missed opportunities and the loss of a relationship from a woman’s perspective while she lies on her deathbed.
The lyrics are a bit heavy but the song itself is actually one of the more upbeat on the album.
It’s a nice sounding song but there just isn’t anything exceptionally memorable about it, making it seem like there’s something missing that could have made it their next hit.
Their latest single, “Angela,” may be the song from this album that finally gets some mainstream attention.
It may not be catchy enough to have Top 40 potential but it’s a nice little song with Schultz singing about a girl named Angela’s return home to their small town where they can be together again.
The album feels a little top-heavy with all the strongest songs at the beginning, presumably to pull listeners in, and later fizzling with slow acoustic ballads that struggle to find identities.
They’re not particularly bad songs, they just sound a bit formulaic and none stands out as a possible hit.
While the album may not have any big standouts, there is some good music here.
It’s easy listening with strong folk roots that can’t easily be found in popular music today.
The Lumineers will tour to promote the album this summer in the United States and although their proven hits from their previous album will remain as the staples of their shows, their new material should translate well in a live setting.
Just because there may not be any big hits on “Cleopatra” for a general audience doesn’t mean fans of indie music and bands such as Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men will not be happy adding this album to their rotation.
Schultz is a talented songwriter and “Cleopatra” could serve as a necessary learning experience for The Lumineers and show that their best music is still yet to come.

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