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Music Review of You & Me by the Walkmen

Music Review of You & Me by the Walkmen

“The Walkmen” are an American five-piece indie rock band from New York City. The Walkmen consist of Hamilton Leithauser (Vocals and Guitar), Paul Maroon (Guitar and Piano), Walter Martin (Organ and Bass), Peter Bauer (Bass and Organ) and Matt Barrick (Drums). Their music genres are mainly indie rock, post-punk revival and a bit of garage rock.

You & Me kicks off with “Donde Esta la Playa”. The combination of the bass and the organ is quite good. At first listen, it sounded really weird. But after a few listens, my perception towards the music in the background as Hamilton sings on totally changed. It just keeps repeating in a loop until the drums and the guitar splash in at the chorus, where Hamilton sings with effort, “I’m dancing, grooving, this lovely wooden floor… Eyes are so sore…” The Walkmen just know when and where to get together and loud. A mid-tempo start.

“Flamingos (For Colbert)” is an instrumental track. Only guitars can be heard on this track. Could have been an intro for this album.

The Walkmen continued with “On The Water”, a track that shares some similarities with the first track. The guitar can be heard accompanying Hamilton’s singing. As this song goes deeper and further, the music gradually gets richer and fuller. At times, Hamilton just know how to use his vocals to the fullest by moaning and howlings. As the end nears, i like the whistling sound. It just complements On The Water so much!

“In The New Year” gets off with some guitar riffs and Hamilton’s vocals. When the chorus comes, the music just shift into a fuller mode. The most notable instrument is the organ. It just has the special connection to Hamilton’s singing, “I know that it’s true, it’s gonna be a good year, out of the darkness, and into the fire, i’ll tell you I love you…” Everytime the chorus comes, The Walkmen did a very good job by lifting In The New Year into another mode. At times, i just think of Christmas while listening to this track. Ho, Ho, Ho!

“Seven Years Of Holidays (For Stretch)” has an energetic start with the guitar-playing and drums-rolling. In the verse, you’d find the drums and the guitar just conquer the song alongside with Hamilton’s vocals. When the chorus comes, the whole track just switches gear. The music has the effect to make you sway your head, and Hamilton’s voice couldn’t have better timing than this. Great stuff here!

“Postcards From Tiny Islands” sounds like Seven Years of Holidays (For Stretch) at the beginning with the drum beats, only this time it is faster. As Hamilton sings, the drums sounds soft but fast. Only guitar accompanies Hamilton as he sings. When the chorus comes, like previous tracks, the music just explodes with the guitar playing on a catchy repetitive hooks. It sounds like there are two different parts on Postcards From Tiny Islands. What a feat!

“Red Moon” leaves my jaw open as i don’t expect The Walkmen to slow it down with a ballad. But they do it with Red Moon and fill the track with surprising piano-playing. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine Hamilton singing such a ballad. Not only piano, you would also find french horn in this ballad. I just love the combination of the three instruments in this track, guitar, piano and french horn. Wonderful break by The Walkmen.

“Canadian Girl” is really an amazing track on You & Me! It has a jazzy feeling to it. And i wouldn’t blame you if you find yourself swaying to Canadian Girl. It is just so good! Most of the times, Hamilton can be heard dragging his vocals after each phrase of lyrics, or between lyrics. “And only I… Still call you mine… Only I… Still hanging on…” As you sway with Canadian Girl, the further it gets, the better the music gets. The french horn can also be heard after Hamilton’s last voice feature on this track. The remaining 1:20 minutes is just gorgeous, indulge yourself in this memorable one.

“Four Provinces” brings back the guitar riffs of The Walkmen. The constant playing of percussion can be heard throughout Four Provinces. In the chorus, i like how Hamilton sings, “Hey, you, am I getting through? There’s one more silver lining for the weekend… Hey, you, am I getting through? The candles in your eyes still burn…” Especially the phrase, “Hey, you, am I getting through?” Hamilton just sort of yells when he sings this phrase, then soften back for the next line. Sometimes, it makes me want to sing along. Check out the guitar riffs and percussions in this track as well.

“Long Time Ahead of Us” has got some great lyrics. “When you come, come along in the evening, and leave me in the middle of the night, take me tonight as I am, leave me the way I was found…” This track by The Walkmen is slow and at times, it seems that it can never take off. It manages to make us wanting for more, but the music seems to be just playing within the same circle. As it gets to the end, only then the french horn manages to put this track back on the line.

“The Blue Route” has a really catchy and happy guitar hook. I just feel great when listening to this track, it has the same quality as Canadian Girl. Making you swaying and moving your head from side to side. Only here, the guitar sound is very echoic and can be heard almost 98% of the time. It’s simple but yet able to create an instant likeable impression. The Walkmen are creating a guitar wall-of-sound in The Blue Route! Unforgettable!

“New Country” is like what the title suggests. It has some country elements in it, only sounds newer and more modern. Only guitar can be heard playing while Hamilton sings. It’s a pretty consistent effort from star to finish. The Walkmen didn’t try to add any special sound or touch to it. But it’s still a good effort.

“I Lost You” starts off with guitar and horn in the background. It sounds very light in the beginning and Hamilton sings as if he’s way too tired to lead another song. “Drive on, drive on, the highway’s bright and long, the river’s overflowing, the houses burning down…” Gradually into this track, the guitar seems to pick up some energy force and starts to play louder as Hamilton sings on. The second half of I Lost You is just filled with guitar riffs, as if competing with Hamilton’s vocals.

“If Only It Were True” is a slow tempo track that mainly features Hamilton’s voice and The Walkmen’s guitar. It has the quality to be the last track on an album. It’s a good choice that The Walkmen decide to end You & Me with If Only If Were True. Hamilton sings the last phrases before You & Me closes with, “So don’t come calling for me, because baby my dream ain’t through, and when, when I’ve had enough, I’ll die in dreams of you.” Sometimes, I think Hamilton has a hard time singing this track, he seems to be struggling with his voice. Still a good track and effort though!