College Times

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros go slow on 'Here', not always to great results

By Ana Anguiano, College Times

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Here
(Community Music / Vagrant Records)
Grade: C+

Fans and critics alike have been awaiting new music from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros for quite some time now. Their extensive touring took priority, but their sets could only do so much with only one album under their belt.

It’s hard when a band is defined by one song that gigantically affected pop culture. “Home” was unanimously loved, used by the NFL and eventually over played. All in all, it was a great love song and a catchy tune.

“Home” was new and exciting. Coming out of the shadow of their 2009 debut, Up From Below, would not be an easy task. With Here, the band really tried to branch out. Here reaches a couple high points but follows these songs with spiritual, melancholic tunes. Religion is a big theme in the album, which isn’t as fun as songs about love.

The band’s ‘70s commune aesthetic bled into the music. The songs are gritty, forcefully aged and at times dull. Jade Castrinos has more of a presence in this album, but Alex Ebert seems to drag it down at times.

Songs such as “That’s What’s Up,” “Man on Fire” and “Fiya Wata” are (to an extent) the album’s redeeming tracks. They are most like the lively tracks ESatMZ are known for.

For such a large band, and such a giant live presence, there is a lack of depth and intensity. It will be interesting to see how these new slow jams work with a packed audience expecting plenty of whistling.

This album might bring new fans to the ESatMZ table. “One Love To” is a bit of a reggae song with plenty of chanting and “Child” is noticeably softer and more gentle than any of their previous work.

Hereis only one of two albums ESatMZ plan to release this year, and we’re excited to see where this band will take us next.

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