Album Review: The Walkmen – Lisbon

Lisbon by The Walkmen

Feel like this type of emotionally driven ‘meaningful’ rock really resonates with a lot of people. Can’t always say I’m one of them. Maybe it’s because when I’m depressed I don’t want to be (or hear anything) so loud. It’s a genre of music that is often almost more stress inducing than remedying.

Lisbon is supposedly some type of pseudo-concept album that was inspired by the Portuguese capital of the same name. Not fully sure that I really picked up on the loose reference to the city when I listened to the album. But, I’m not really sure that I fully picked up on a lot with regards to Lisbon. I understand that the album ranges emotionally from ‘depressing’ to ‘melancholic’, but I have no real idea as to why the lead singer seems to be so down. I’m sure a further investigation into the lyrics would uncover some sort of love related origin to the dreary tone of the album. But it was the type of music that never really made me feel that curious, not because it was bad, but because I felt some sort of separation from the protagonist of the songs. Like he was kind of just caught up and muddled by the size of everything going on around him.

All this aside, I still can’t say that I disliked Lisbon. As an album, it was powerful, heartfelt and I can kind of understand it hitting home for a lot of people. It’s a similar sensation to listening to the national anthem of some foreign country. “Angela Surf City” is my favorite track and is as powerful and blown out a ‘beachy’ song as you are ever going to hear. “Stranded” is oddly appealing, and has the feeling of the last song in a musical like Les Mis or something. With its occasional beat of the drum and oscillating almost drunken horn section that dominates the song, it’s the type of tune that mandates you raise a glass to something/someone you miss while swaying back and forth in a sentimental manner. In short, while Lisbon doesn’t personally speak to me and my experiences, it is evident that there is a lot of beauty here even if it is vague and less than exuberant.

Lisbon 3.5 out of 5

Stranded MP3

Angela Surf City MP3

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