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Tuesday October 4th

The Lumineers showcase Simple Yet Effective with their latest album ‘BRIGHTSIDE’

(Photo courtesy of Spotify)
(Photo courtesy of Spotify)

By Riley Eisenbeil
Staff Writer

On Friday, Jan. 14, The Lumineers released their fourth studio album titled “BRIGHTSIDE.” The band, known for their indie/alternative/folk style, first performed together in 2005 right here in our home state of New Jersey and has been releasing catchy music ever since.

Their songs tend to have a good beat behind them, making it easy for almost anyone to fall in love with them before even diving into the deeper meanings of the songs. The lyrics say so much in such a short amount of time — telling stories so clearly, it’s almost like you’re reading poetry or a really great piece of literature.

The Lumineers had a lot to live up to with this album after releasing “Cleopatra” in 2016 and “III” in 2019. Those two were both theatrical masterpieces that captivated audiences and kept them close, waiting and counting down the days until their next release.

“BRIGHTSIDE” features catchy songs and although some lean more towards the simple side compared to their previous works, they include many metaphors and hidden meanings, which forces readers to dig deeper and to often interpret their own meanings when listening.

On Wednesday afternoon, less than 48 hours before the album was released, The Lumineers tweeted “We had this photo of Oasis [an English rock band from the 90s] along with the words ‘Free’ and ‘Anthem’ hung up in the studio when we were creating BRIGHTSIDE. These words and [this] photo helped inspire us during the writing process.”

The band released the title track “BRIGHTSIDE” in late September of 2021. The steady drum pattern combined with the electric guitar gives it a soft rock feel. Although the lyrics are quite repetitive, it’s hard to listen to the song without bopping your head or swaying your body. The vocalist expresses that he can offer a sense of comfort by being “the brightside” for the addressee throughout their destinationless road trip. The song is less complex than a lot of their past releases, but it was a good debut song nonetheless.

The third song on the album, titled “WHERE WE ARE,” portrays a car accident where the vocalist expresses he doesn’t know “where [they] are, but it’ll be okay.” Although the chorus is extensive, it is clear that repetition is key. It doesn't seem to tell much at surface level, but the message definitely comes across well. The vocalist is instilling the idea that you will always be drawn towards your place in life so even if you’re unsure of things now, it’ll all be okay — this message accompanied by the strong verse and good instrumentals makes it a must-listen.

The songs “NEVER REALLY MINE” and “ROLLERCOASTER” definitely held up to what The Lumineers have previously created. Both songs feature raw feelings that send goosebumps throughout your whole body.

The first features a simple guitar part for the first half before introducing other instruments when the song begins to pick up and they repeat the same lyrics with a different meaning this time. This build-up expresses the shift from sadness to acceptance and freedom after a split in a relationship and allows listeners to experience that change with the vocalist.

“ROLLERCOASTER” is the first ballad and is done entirely on the piano. It has a beautiful tone, and it makes you feel heavy in the best way possible. The song revolves around regret and the eventual acceptance that is bound to follow whether that is a positive or negative thing.

The inspiration for the album is crystal clear by the end. The last song is entitled “REPRISE,” and it fully captures all that The Lumineers were hoping to get across. Like a few of the previous tracks, this song relies heavily on repetition, but in combination with the musical build-up, it is a striking success. The lyrics circle back to the first song in the best way possible by stating, “I’m heading for the brightside baby tonight.” This song wraps up the nine-song lineup perfectly. The powerful tune makes it so listeners can truly feel free.

The Lumineers have accumulated over 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone over their time as a band, and after listening to even a small portion of their discography, that won’t come as a shock. Their newest album “BRIGHTSIDE '' was filled with some treasures for sure. Some songs seemed a little underwhelming lyrically at the first listen, but it’s worth listening to in full a few times through. Overall, the album held up musically and will definitely be on repeat for a lot of listeners.




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