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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 20, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Retrospective lyrics mark change in style

"Cleopatra"

The Lumineers

On April 8, folk-pop trio The Lumineers released “Cleopatra,” their first album since the self-titled “The Lumineers” in 2012. The commercial-pop sound the band was previously known for may have been what put its artists on the map. However, now that it has solidified a spot in the hearts of its fans, the group decided to take its music in a slightly different direction.

The catchy melodies like that of their 2012 single “Ho Hey,” for the most part, are eliminated in their 2016 tracks, only to be replaced by soft sounds and lyrics that remind listeners of what it’s like to come home — whether that be a specific object, someone’s arms, a literal house or just somewhere they feel like they belong.  

The album opens with the relaxing tones of the song “Sleep on the Floor,” a song recounting a powerful love and longing for something greater than what the song’s two focal characters have already experienced.

Four of the album’s 11 songs are titled with women’s names, and many specifically reference different occurrences of falling in and out of love. For instance, the album’s first hit, “Ophelia,” reminisces about what it was like to fall in love, while “Gale Song” has a more emotional outlook and references what it is like when trying to move on is best, even if one does not want to.

The song “In the Light” stays true to its name and takes an airier, lighter approach to the melody and tone of the song, although it still manages to keep the themes of love, loss and longing alive for the listener. This style is similarly seen in “Gun Song” and “Long Way From Home,” other highlights of “Cleopatra.”

The album closes with the song “Patience,” an instrumental piece with simple repeating chords played on the piano. The song is only 1:37, the album’s shortest, but it leaves the listener in a mellow place after pulling at every heartstring through the rest of the album. Even if every listener hasn’t experienced the trifecta of feelings The Lumineers portray in this album, the band paints such a vivid picture through the imagery in its lyrics that anyone can relate.