The Lumineers – III (Album Review)

The Lumineers – III (Album Review)

Formed in 2005, in Ramsey, New Jersey, The Lumineers are among the purveyors of what has become Indie/Pastoral Folk—defined primarily by the songs’ Folk/acoustic roots; catchy Pop sensibilities; Indie quirkiness; and rustic, Gospel-reminiscent vocal harmonies. Going onto emerge in the 2010s alongside groups like Fleet Foxes (“Fool’s Errand”), Boy & Bear (“Hold on Your Nerve”), and Mumford & Sons (“Guiding Light”), to date the band has three studio albums to their name – 2012’s self-titled, 2016’s Cleopatra, and their newest, III.

Hitting the public on Friday, September 13th via Dualtone/Decca Records, The Lumineers’ third full-length is a conceptual album, in which founder Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion) were backed up in the studio by Byron Isaacs (bass, backing vocals), Lauren Jacobson (violin, backing vocals), Simone Felice (maraca, backing vocals), David Baron (synths, keyboards, harmonium), and Anneke Schaul-Yoder (cello).

Produced by Simone Felice, III tells of the struggles of the fictional Sparks family. Complete with ten songs it all starts off with the haunting and bucolic, slow piano ballad titled “Donna.” The pace then immediately picks up with the ensuing narrative, “Life in the City”—still piano-oriented but this time punchy, upbeat, and more engaging. Intensifying the energy some more, the single “Gloria” follows next with its raw, acoustic sound and big bass-and-drum beats. And then there is the folky guitar song “It Wasn’t Easy to Be Happy for You,” relaxing the mood for a while.

The Lumineers then take you farther back to the aesthetics of Psychedelic Folk with the nostalgia of the series of barenaked, acoustic guitar ballads—“Leader of the Landslide,” “Left for Denver,” the piano-adorned “My Cell,” and the bluesy and string-laden “Jimmy Sparks”—all of which will remind the initiated of pioneering bands associated with the ’60s phase of the aforementioned genre, such as Incredible String Band (“Painting Box”) and Pentangle (“Hunting Song”). Then, after the short prelude “April,” they then wrap up their latest offering with the reflective balladry of “Salt and the Sea,” swinging and swaying like a lullaby with a hush in a reverie.

While its predecessors shone with their naïve energy and natural rawness of sonic intentions, III is certainly the mark of a band that has gained experience and maturity over the course of its career. They may have explored a few more stylistic avenues, but The Lumineers have remained rooted to wherever they have drawn their influences, carrying these modestly on their bosoms and their records’ sleeves. For these reasons Cryptic Rock gives III 4 out of 5 stars.

The Lumineers III 2020 The World Tour Dates:
Feb. 1 — Asheville, N.C. @ U.S. Cellular Center
Feb. 4 — Columbus, Ohio @ Schottenstein Center
Feb. 5 — St. Louis, Mo. @ Enterprise Center
Feb. 7 — Detroit, Mich. @ Little Caesars Arena
Feb. 8 — Cleveland, Ohio @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Feb. 11 — Grand Rapids, Mich. @ Van Andel Arena
Feb. 13 — Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Barclays Center
Feb. 16 — Charlottesville, Va. @ John Paul Jones Arena
Feb. 18 — Indianapolis, Ind. @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Feb. 19 — Nashville, Tenn. @ Bridgestone Arena
Feb. 22 — Chicago, Ill. @ Allstate Arena
Feb. 25 — Pittsburgh, Pa. @ PPG Paints Arena
Feb. 26 — Buffalo, N.Y. @ KeyBank Center
Feb. 28 — Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
Feb. 29 — Uncasville, Conn. @ Mohegan Sun Arena
March 4 — Toronto, Ontario, Canada @ Scotiabank Arena
March 7 — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada @ Canadian Tire Center
May 15 — The Woodlands, Texas @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 16 — Dallas, Texas @ Dos Equis Pavilion
May 19 — Jacksonville, Fla. @ Daily’s Place
May 22 — Tampa, Fla. @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
May 23 — West Palm Beach, Fla. @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre
May 27 — Virginia Beach, Va. @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
May 29 — Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion
May 30 — Atlanta, Ga. @ Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
June 2 — Raleigh, N.C. @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
June 5 — Camden, N.J. @ BB&T Pavilion
June 6 — Saratoga Springs, N.Y. @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 10 — Gilford, N.H. @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
June 12 — Mansfield, Mass. @ Xfinity Center
July 12 — Verona, Italy @ Arena Di Verona

Purchase III:

[amazon_link asins=’B07NSTX6F8′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’crypticrock-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’72961e0f-d3b3-47c9-84d4-777e8ca8fdfc’]

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.
aLfie vera mella
[email protected]

Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

No Comments

Post A Comment

Cryptic Rock
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons