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Key Tracks: "That's What's Up," "Mayla," "Man on Fire"
The energy of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros prevails in their sophomore album Here, which oozes with carefree bluegrass instrumentals. Here doesn’t differ much from the group's debut album, Up from Below, but it does have a dreamier sound and a heavier focus on roaring trumpets rather than that jangling guitar.
The story behind the band is an interesting one. Frontman Alex Ebert started off as the lead singer of electronic-rock band Ima Robot. After leaving the band and entering rehab, Ebert met singer Jade Castrinos. They put their musical abilities together and in 2009 began traveling across the country with a group of multi-talented musicians. Ebert decided to call the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, based on his own fictional character Edward Sharpe, who represents his own rebirth.
Ebert opens up the album with a lingering statement of that rebirth. “Man on Fire” is him realizing that the world is a beautiful place and that we should make the best of every day we are here. The song starts off slowly and builds up into a light and dreamy tune.
“That’s What’s Up” is the catchiest song on the album, albeit with some slightly corny lyrics: “You’d be the church, I’d be the steeple.” The song has a carefree feel as Ebert sings about the delights of falling in love.
The single best song on the album is “Mayla,” which has a mystical quality and showcases grand, rolling trumpets.
"Mayla" is followed by “Dear Believer,” and the two songs sound so similar that they could almost be confused as the same one. “Dear Believer” carries a prominent message of remaining hopeful through hard times and making the best of certain situations. The chorus rings out, “Reaching for heaven is what I’m on Earth to do.”
“One Love to Another” has a heavy brassy sound and almost resembles something from a late Beatles album. The album closes with the extremely melodic “All Wash Out,” which feature tinkling piano riffs and rolling percussion.
Here is sort of like a life lesson. The lesson is just as the title suggests--we are all here, so while we are we might as well make the best of this life.
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