Published on June 10th, 2012 | by jennie0
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Here:: Review
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros caught my attention with their first album, Up from Below, so I couldn’t pass up listening to their sophomore release, Here. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to experience what the singing-on-the-porch cult-like band put together. The record opens with a magical number, “Man on Fire.” It’s a great example of the eclectic, flower-loving, communal style art-folk music reminiscent of Devendra Banhart, a personal favorite. “Man on Fire” lays the expectation of a rich, unique and touching experience that’s about to unfold.
“That’s What’s Up” comes in a bit choppy, interrupting the flow that the first song created. It’s more like a rough family sing-along than I what I generally enjoy, but I’m still open to what will come next. “I Don’t Wanna Pray” continues in a similar manner and I begin to wonder where the flow the will pick back up. After skimming through a few bland songs, I realize that this album will not be what I desire.
“Dear Believer” is a fair tune but is forgettable. In the middle of the album, a completely different band is resurrected in “Child.” Who is this singing? I don’t dislike it, but it simply doesn’t seem to fit. No band should be forced to fit into a specific genre, but I have an appreciation for a consistent treatment in an album. The progression of the songs do not feel organic, but is instead choppy and immature.
It’s clear that One Love To is directly related to Bob Marley’s One Love. I’ll be skipping this one as I grit my teeth.
And then, at the end of the collection, the magic slightly returns with “Fiya Wata,” which has the same soul of the first song. As I tap my toe to it, I realize I’ve heard this song before. This is the exact same song from their iTunes session, but with a different play on the spelling. No wonder I like it…I already own it.
Here closes with “All Wash Out” and the tune sums up my feelings about this short album. I really enjoy the song, but it’s frustrating similar to another non-Edward Sharpe song from long ago that I can’t put my finger on. It’s a cross between Journey’s “Faithfully” and something by Kenny Rogers. Being only half serious, I’m still suspicious of how unique this whole concoction is.
There are pieces of songs I love, pieces of songs I find irritating, and many pieces that I swear I’ve heard before from Alex Ebert’s predecessors. Others perceive Here as an example of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros development and maturity. I just see a group of musicians that have a great appreciation for past good music and have a talented way of regurgitating it for the newbies out there that haven’t been exposed to the originals, such as Bob Dylan. It will remain on my playlists, but it definitely doesn’t earn a top spot.
Devendra Banhart, when are you going to make a new record?