With their fourth studio album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were able to create an album filled with a variety of instruments and vocal styles, in addition to striking a unique balance between soft and strong emotional vibrancy.
The album starts off with the seven-minute song, “Hot Coals,” one with an impressive mixture of sound. A disappointing song of being in love, it is unlike the romantic love songs like “Somewhere” and “No Love Like Yours.” “Hot Coals” is a song about a relationship that either imaginative or real, that has ended. The perfectly-fitting introduction also features wonderful piano parts that are teased throughout the album in a variety of styles.
The imposing production effects are carried into the beginning of the next song, “Uncomfortable,” which features another, less affected piano part, while it is the percussion and mandolin parts that fill the song. In a romantic fashion, songs like “Somewhere” and “No Love Like Yours” feature lovely lyrics, as an acoustic guitar gives off a peaceful sound.
Though some songs feature the same instruments, the instrumentations of each song are complex and hooking. The first song to give off a “different” vibe, “Wake Up The Sun,” is more salsa-styled, adding variety to the album’s otherwise standard sound. However, the band is still able to put its signature sound into this track. In this track and the next, the brass sections are noticeable parts of the songs. The song “Perfect Time,” a song that almost sounds like a Frank Sinatra track, also provides an ear-catching brass section.
“Let It Down” is much more darker and more somber than earlier tracks; the mysterious piano licks and hidden drum patterns are complex, but let the song, like others, have cohesion.
The song “Lullaby” allows, as the the title insists, for a song fit for when you’re about to sleep. If you were to add Jonsi’s voice it would sound identical to Sigur Ros. While almost sounding like it belongs on Broadway, the sound does not sound gimmicky at all.
“The Ballad of Yaya” is a great conclusion to an almost perfect album. The final track presents all that the album has accomplished: a symphony of sounds made by the brass section, passionate lyrics and, most of all, a unified chorus of sounds and voices that show