While not being a huge fan of bands like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, I certainly can respect what they do – having a pop song with an upright bass is among the things that the latter does that’s really cool. That said, 12 songs are going to be too much for most people for either band, but especially for The Lumineers. The band’s sophomore record “Cleopatra” is a perfect example.
The three songs named after women – “Cleopatra”, “Ophelia”, and “Angela” – are all good for varying reasons. I love “Ophelia” because of the piano work and because of the hook in the chorus. If you’re like me, you’ll also be a fan of “Gale Song”, but that’s really where the bright spots end. “Gun Song” attempts to do something… I’m just not sure what, all it does is depress you and leave you confused. You can say the same thing of the last four songs on the album – on the standard version. “Cleopatra” will do well, but it’s going to be a tad boring for some listeners out there. If I had wish for the band it would be for them to open things up to some production and expand their sonic presence a touch more. They can do that without abandoning their core sound. They don’t need to bust out an electric guitar or anything like that, but if they started adding something to a bridge here and there it would go a long way.
All that aside, if you liked the first album, you’ll probably like this one too. If you didn’t care for it, this one isn’t going to win you over either.