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Lisbon

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Lisbon was recorded over the course of eight months beginning in the fall of 2009 with You &Me producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Les Savy Fav, Tokyo Police Club). The band then traveled to Dallas to finish the album with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky'). Featuring the band'ssignature vintage instrument-sound, Lisbon will showcase 'A lot of stuff that's Elvis-sounding, like early Elvis and Sun Records kind of sounds,' says frontman Hamilton Leithauser.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Juveniles
  2. Angela Surf City
  3. Follow the Leader
  4. Blue as Your Blood
  5. Stranded
  6. Victory
  7. All My Great Designs
  8. Woe Is Me
  9. Torch Song
  10. While I Shovel the Snow
  11. Lisbon


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: September 14, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • ASIN: B003VURG44
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,535 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rudolph Klapper on September 14, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Unlike many of their contemporaries who decided to burn out in a temporary burst of creativity or fade away in repetitive ignominy, the Walkmen have only continued to get better. It's a bit of a surprise when you consider the band predicated their success on a piss-and-vinegar brand of youthful fire and youthful anger, that New York City vigor and rage exemplified in "The Rat," the band's best known song off their 2004 breakthrough Bows + Arrows. It's the kind of spirit that's all too easy to dissipate as the years pass, and the Walkmen, truth be told, have been no exception. But as 2008's excellent You & Me proved, the Walkmen know how to age gracefully, transforming their earlier ragged edge into a stately procession of horns, spindly guitars and powerful drum work, all anchored by Hamilton Leithauser's cracked croon. It was still the same Walkmen, as the innovative instrumentation and Leithauser's gloomy lyrics made clear, but they had found a way to take their best qualities and shift them into a more expansive sound, the kind of sound that spoke of possibilities for the future. With Lisbon, the Walkmen have realized those possibilities, but in a decidedly strange way: for the first time in years, the Walkmen seem content.

Is that really Leithauser singing "I am a good man / by any count / and I see better things to come" as a jaunty guitar line rolls along and the drums bounce in a way that can only be described as triumphant?
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I thought The National had album of the year in the bag with 'High Violet', but I couldn't have been more wrong.

The Walkmen have taken a more subtle and precise approach with 'Lisbon' than their previous efforts. I can just picture them in some dim lit warehouse somewhere like mad scientists determining which note goes where and with what instrument and how loud to make each note and so on and so forth. It may not seem like that at first listen, but with repeated listens you will soon find out how much time and effort they put into 'Lisbon'. It's their most simplistic yet complex album yet. It's a well rounded mix of all the greatness of their previous albums but it doesn't feel old at all. It's as though they've figured out a way of making all their strengths feel new and refreshed.

From the ballad and first single "Stranded" which sounds like an album highlight from '100 miles off' to the intrepid title track, "Lisbon", that could have been 'Everybody who Pretended to like me is Gone's' most idealistic single, the Walkmen dazzle in every way. The opener "Juveniles" is a perfect start to 'Lisbon'. It's slow and bending lyrics sound as though they are about to embark on a journey and they want you to sit back, drink your whiskey, open your mind and let your thoughts flow. As the end of the song echoes, "you're one of us or you're one of them", you will start to question which one you are as you anxiously await the ride to continue.

There are a few faster paced songs on the album like "Angela Surf City", which will probably be the biggest single on the album just because it's more of the sound the Walkmen are popular for.
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Wow, what a fantastic record, probably their best! As usual, they wear their hearts quite plainly on their sleeves, but I guess you could say they're wearing old and quite worn smoking jackets now instead of dirty leather jackets. Or to put it more simply and less pretentiously, they're getting older, and it shows in the songs: the way they're written, sung, and played. Sure, there are still some furious rock tracks on the album, and the band sometimes gets just as carried away as they normally do even on the slower tracks (that's a compliment). But it all sounds more meaningful and beautiful and powerful b/c it's coming from musicians seemingly even more weathered by life, yet sort of at peace with what life has done to them (or, if not at peace, they at least seem to understand it better).

For instance, take one of the standout tracks, "Stranded." It echoes certain tracks from previous records (like maybe "Red Moon") in terms of using wonderfully unexpected and dramatic backing music (echoing an Italian funeral march in this case), but it's much much more potent and heart-breaking b/c you feel like they've lived (i.e., past tense) what they're saying/playing rather than still being stuck in the middle of it, even when the literal words seem to say otherwise. That slight change in perspective makes all the difference in the world, no matter how old the listener is (late 30s in my case).

So if you're new to the Walkmen, I'd say definitely start with this album: it's a great representative of their range and also very accessible. And if you just want to sample a handful of tracks, I say go for "Stranded," "Angela Surf City," "Blue As Your Blood," and "While I Shovel the Snow.
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