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Music Reviews

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Castle Talk
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Walkmen
Fat Possum

Rating: 7.9/10 ?

September 14, 2010
It's entirely possible that the Walkmen's Lisbon gets lost in the shuffle. Without the stylish cover art of their previous You & Me or any true barn-burners for a single (not even a noticeable sleeper hit like "We've Been Had"), this one could go as unnoticed as A Hundred Miles Off on its initial release.

Only in this case that would be a shame. While you could quickly point out Lisbon's lack of fireworks akin to Bows + Arrows' "The Rat," it's just as easy to comment on how well maturity suits this band and how well the lessons of You & Me seem to have sunk in.

At this point slapping a 9 on here isn't going to win any new Walkmen fans and the subtle joys of de facto lead "Stranded" seem to indicate that the band knows it. The rest of Lisbon plays out with a steady-handed confidence they tried with on A Hundred Miles Off with middling success. Here, thankfully, it works charmingly.

"Juveniles" plugs along at its own pace, the guitars chime, and aside from a few surprises-notably how refreshing the standard distorted guitar-rock sounds in the middle of "Angela Surf City" or the use they get out of a staccato guitar burst in "Follow the Leader"'s otherwise combustible construction-we get another refinement of the best aspects of the band.

Each song's a vignette of some kind of drunken episode: "Standed" swoons with feel-no-pain-even-though-I'm-aware-it's-coming grace, and "Woe Is Me" sounds like a functioning alcoholic (in the best possible way!). Either you're interested in what the Walkmen are up to or not--there's not a note that suggests the band is still looking outward. They instead sound like they're subtly challenging themselves and sharpening their most distinct attributes. About which you can say what you want; you always know when a Walkmen song comes on your shuffle, and Lisbon does nothing to dispel that. In fact, it adds another solid entry to an increasingly solid catalogue.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
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See other reviews by Cory Tendering



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