The Lumineers are the most simultaneously loved and loathed band to come out of Denver since the Fray. You know why, right? They're also the most successful act to call this place home since the Fray. Last we heard, the Lumineers
were about a dick hair away from being are officially platinum. Success, as we all know, breeds contempt, which, naturally, spurs stern oppositional advocacy. That said, we could hardly think of a better group with which to introduce you to our latest feature: Sacred Cow Tipper, in which we pit Hater against Homer in a no-holds-barred, winner-takes-all death match. Haters gonna hate, or Homers appreciate everything that comes from our state? You decide. Brace yourself before you engage, though: This shit gets pretty ad hominem with a quickness. It starts with the music, but then it's never just about the music, now, is it?
The songs all sound pretty much the same If you've heard "Ho Hey," you've pretty much experienced the bulk of the band's breadth. Although they obviously have other songs than the one that's been beaten mercilessly into your brain at this point, you'd hardly know it, particularly listening to the songs live back to back. It's all second verse, same as the first after a while, and none of them, frankly, combine to be as good as the one that started it all. This point was perhaps unintentionally driven home when the outfit performed a hometown show recently at the Ogden -- and played two different versions of "Ho Hey."
They're just capitalizing on a trend, you know? We all know Mumford & Sons were first to the party, a fact that even the Lumineers themselves acknowledged in their recent New York Times profile. At the same time, they also noted how the comparisons bug them. The music of Mumford & Sons is more involved, Jon Pareles essentially noted in the piece, trying to make a distinction, while the Lumineers opt to keep things simple. To that, we say, come on, son! Think anybody truly believes that? Look, they're both drawing from the same well; it just seems that old Marcus and company have come up with a tastier blend. I mean, there's a reason one band took home a Grammy and the other went home empty-handed.
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They try way too hard Look, man; we get it. The band is going for the whole rootsy, throwback-pastoral aesthetic. And you wanna know what? When folks first hear they're from Colorado, you can see how it could probably work for them -- that is, until fans find out they're from New Jersey (well, except for Neyla; she gets a pass). It's like that old Pace commercial ("This stuff's made in New York City!") What's more, the whole thing feels pretty calculated. First, the suspenders: Kind of defeating the utilitarian purpose of the accessory when you also wear a belt. And those hats! Don't even get us started on the ever-present fedora.
Continue on for The Homer's take on the Lumineers
I don't care who you are. That "Ho Hey" tune's a keeper! This song is fucking mesmerizing. Admit it. From the first time you heard it, like it not, we're betting you couldn't get that bugger out of your head, right? Tell the truth. You don't gotta lie to kick it. There's a reason this song became a hit. It's got the same ineffable quality about it that other smash singles over the years have had. The short list: "Hey Ya," "Crazy," "Fuck You," "Pumped Up Kicks," "Somebody I Used to Know," "We Are Young," "Thrift Shop"...shall we continue? And keep in mind, this is only the band's first record. The oufit's songwriting is only bound to get stronger on the next one.
The Lumineers rep Colorado strong, man! The band big-ups Colorado every chance they get, and they don't have to. Seriously. It's not like they're on the tourism payroll or anything, or getting points for all the props. Fact is, they don't owe anybody here anything. They made it on their own without the help of anybody. Yet the Centennial state is constantly mentioned in tandem with this band, and that can't be by chance. The Lumineers are proudly flying our flag like it's Always Buy Colorado week, while we've seen other bands, who haven't enjoyed even a fraction of the success they have, hightail it out of here as fast as their little feet could carry them, leaving our scene in the rearview.
The story is inspiring The Lumineers' story is not just inspiring, it's Rudy inspiring. If the bandmembers can move here sight unseen and rise from virtual obscurity, playing open-mic nights at one of the smallest venues in town to performing on SNL, being nominated for a pair of Grammys and being profiled in a stack of high-profile magazines like Billboard and the New York Times (!), all within the expanse of just a few years, by God, there's hope for all of us yet. Again: Grammy week, the New York Fucking Times! Enough said.
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