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The Walkmen take an easy stroll with seventh album

Published 1:04pm Friday, May 25, 2012

The Walkmen stroll through 13 tracks on their new album, “Heaven.”

The East Coat indie band’s seventh studio album is a steady and pleasant collection of tracks from a band confident enough to take its time and not tug at the reins.

The opening track “We Can’t Be Beat,” opens with a modest grace, as Hamilton Leithauser sings “If you want my eyes, take my eyes.”

The album burns forward, never flaming out, but it never quite catches fire, either.

The sound certainly varies, but the difference in peaks is more like rolling hills than mountains. “Song For Leigh” is one of the more uptempo numbers, with driving, but contained guitars shimmering over Leithauser’s vocals when he sings “I sing myself sick about you.”

The sound is tidy for a five-piece, with the songs mostly driven by traditional guitar, drums and bass combination with organs and keys used sparingly at the right moments.

On “Witches,” the organ and guitars give the album a certain throwback quality that’s not as blatantly old school as performers like M. Ward.

The title track, “Heaven,” exudes the confidence you’d expect from a group with more than a decade in the industry. Leithauser’s voice peaks in this song where he pleads “Don’t leave me, you’re my best friend” and “remember, remember all we fight for.”

The album’s mellow rock tracks push forward in skilled simplicity, rarely reaching beyond the band’s means. Unlike many albums that build and build to extravagance, The Walkmen are content to burn steady like a candle — there are few climaxes, but there are even fewer low points.

The Walkmen take the slow and steady approach. The paced approach, however, does leave you waiting for peaks and wanting more.



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