I have to confess that the moments of hand-clappy joy that interpolate this record are pretty infectious. I always think, and perhaps it’s just my natural disposition towards the darker edges of life, that “happy” is really hard to pull off in music with coming across as a idiot who can’t see past his/her own two bare-feet – “Look around you you stupid fucking hippie! It’s not all peace and love and wonderful things!”. But Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros manage to be defiantly upbeat – I imagine that there’s a deep sense in making these songs that the world is not, indeed ‘all peace and love and wonderful things’ – but that peace, love and wonderful things do exist here, along all that other not-so-great shit we call life.
I fear, though, that these songs, may need to have been enjoyed in a live setting to truly inspire the awe that they seek to touch you with – and I fear that without that experiential aspect the album will suffer to truly touch an audience the way it’s intended.
That’s What’s Up – Hallelujah! If I were to ever join a cult and go bare-foot/hand clappy then, it’d only be for a song like this. There’s a great bass-line in here too.
Man On Fire – The harmonies here are pretty great; a slow burner / builder of a song.
Fiya Wata – despite the naff way of writing Fire Water, I kinda dig this is a sing-a-long lighters in the air in the evening outdoors at a festival song. I imagine it, as the sun sets and the cool breeze feels good on your inevitable sunburn from the aforementioned outdoor festival.