New Album Review: The Sound of the Life of the Mind

In 1999, I was living in graduate student housing with my roommate who was also the guitarist in my band (and one of my best friends).  We were not, however, graduate students. We had been forcefully directed to live in the remote housing because of our behavior during our freshman year.

We weren’t exactly the best neighbors during our first year of college. We once duct-taped someone to a chair in the common room because he was talking too loud in the hallway. Our RA was eventually re-assigned and our shenanigans were no small part. The parties were one thing. But the Quad director had a special meeting with us for the noise: We had full band rehearsal in a second floor dorm room; we played songs together all hours of the day.

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Love and the Lumineers

In the hit single “Hey Ho” from their debut album, the lead singer of the Lumineers declares that he can write a song (“I don’t know where I went wrong / but I can write a song”).  The album that contains this line proves the claim to be both hubris and truth. At least two of the songs are transcendent. Others are less than overwhelming.

After my brother posted his confession that he had endured terrible music all day just for the chance of  hearing “Hey Ho”, I decided that I should take a listen. Now, rather than telling me it was a good song and insisting I might like it (perhaps fearing another Gotye incident), my brother posted an entry about the song and left me to my own devices.

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