By Lauren Cole
The Lumineers new album, III, is an album like no other. It is a very enjoyable and interesting listen. The album is set up in a way that is very unique from other albums, in a series of three acts. Each of them tell a story about a different generation of the same family struggling with addiction. It is a worthwhile album to listen to, especially if you are watching the music videos. The visuals provided by the music videos give the listener/viewer a more realistic perspective; they can see how addiction can rip apart families.
The first time listening to the album, some of the upbeat and happier sounding songs, such as “Gloria” and “Life in the City”, seem as if they are meant to be happy. A closer listen to the lyrics can help the listener realize the real meaning of these songs. All songs provoke many different emotions: sadness, loneliness, regret, and anger are a few examples. It is not an album to listen to at a party, but rather alone or with someone close.
The songs all have similar qualities, specifically the amount of acoustic guitar and piano. Another instrument, the most important, is the voice of the lead singer. The lyrics are the most important part of most of the songs because of the very detailed story that they are telling. They are not covered up by the instrumentals or artificially altered, his voice is very natural and fitting for the music. The emotions shown through his voice enhance the whole experience of the album and the listener can tell they are real.
One of my favorite songs in the album is, Gloria, it is the most popular of the album. This song is a conversation between an addict named Gloria, and her daughter. The lyrics show the different perspectives of these two family members who are both struggling. Another song that is important to the album is Jimmy Sparks It portrays karma. The song starts off as Jimmy, the son of Gloria, telling his son to never pick up a hitchhiker, “It’s us or them”, he tells him. Later in the song, a much older, middle-aged Jimmy,is walking home barefoot along a road after making several bad decisions. His son passes by him without picking him up, as he was taught to never pick up a hitchhiker. My other favorite song, “Salt and the Sea”. I believe it shows the most emotion and the message behind the lyrics is clear. This specific song shows the perspective of the children of addicts and how strongly it affects them.
III by the Lumineers is a very important and unique album that has many beautiful but downhearted songs. It does a very good job of showing the struggle of addiction and spreading awareness to the issue. It would be rare to find another album similar to this one. The album really makes the listener think and be thankful for what they have.