Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off

Release Date: May 23, 2006

★★★★★ Tracks:


Danny's at the Wedding

I don’t know A Hundred Miles Off well yet, but I’m glad I’m getting familiar with it. An underrated album from an underrated band, the Walkmen continue tweaking their sound with each new record, never giving way to redundancy. While Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone was low-key and atmospheric, and Bows & Arrows was frenetic and loud, this one mixes sounds from both. But A Hundred Miles Off is not simply a mish-mash of old Walkmen ideas, they add Latin and European elements to the songs, allowing the use of their organ and brass section in ways they hadn't used them before. Both embellish the major-chord progressions perfectly, accompanying Leithauser's most upbeat lyrics to date.

The best song is perhaps the first one. “Louisiana” exudes all those great feelings you get when you hit the road, enjoy good company and take in the scenery. It’s got a lazy, summery feel to it which only increases the effectiveness of the lyrics. And when the brass section kicks in I'm immediately transported to a river boat heading down the Mississippi, on my way to the cajun riviera. Unfortunately I’m sure it looks nothing like it used to now.

"Lousiana" YouTube Link (Warner Bros./YouTube won't allow embedding.)

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