The Lumineers Come Alive on Cleopatra

Featured Image courtesy of the Artist

The stakes were high for Cleopatra, the second album from breakout folk/pop rock band The Lumineers. Would The Lumineers solidify their status as leaders in the new folk rock scene or fall victim to the sophomore slump? Maybe that’s why it took four years to release Cleopatra following the band’s 2012 self-titled debut that featured the single “Ho Hey,” their huge single you couldn’t escape listening to for about a year, no matter how hard you tried.

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Album Art courtesy of the Artist

Fortunately, the hiatus proved fruitful for the Denver-based group. Cleopatra showcases a more mature sound for these musicians with sparse and simple arrangements, but nonetheless pensive and very romantic. The album begins with “Sleep On The Floor,” which sounds slightly reminiscent to the melody of “Ho Hey,” but slower. It definitely has single potential. Most of the other songs are more delicate and introspective, such as “In The Light,” “Gale Song,” and “Sick in the Head.”

Three of the songs are titled after female names, and these are some of the strongest tracks on the record. Single “Ophelia” is the perfect combination of folk and pop that first made The Lumineers a mainstream sensation like Mumford & Sons. Second single “Angela” is absolutely beautiful; lead vocalist and guitarist Wesley Schultz‘s vocals really soar here. And title track “Cleopatra” is an exciting, hopeful, romantic track that will have you wishing for your own love story fit for a Golden-era Hollywood film.

The album ends on a softer note with penultimate track “My Eyes” that features carefully crafted acoustic guitar riffs. Final song “Patience” is a short, gorgeous piano instrumental sums up the philosophy of Cleopatra: less is more.

There’s not quite a single as poppy and huge as “Ho Hey” on Cleopatra, and that is quite okay. That single, while reaching a wide audience, sounded like a band who was trying really hard to seem “folky” and “indie.” Cleopatra, on the other hand, sounds much more effortless in its folk approach. The approach seemed to work, as the album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Charts. If you haven’t gotten around to listening to this album yet, consider this review your fair warning.

Listen to the album below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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