The Lumineers ‘Cleopatra’ Album Review Roundup

April 18, 2016

The Lumineers’ new album is ‘Cleopatra.’ Music critics are weighing in on the highly anticipated sophomore album from the folk-rock band that rose to fame with their breakthrough hit single ‘Ho Hey.’ Check out a roundup of reviews.

The Lumineers

The Denver, Colorado-based band The Lumineers have been forging ahead in the folk music tradition that has seen other bands achieve international fame including The Avett Brothers as well as Mumford & Sons, although the latter have raised a few eyebrows with their most recent album, ‘Wilder Mind’ which sees them embracing electrical instruments.

The Lumineers’ made quite the impression in 2012 with their self-titled debut, and with it, two Grammy nominations for Best Americana Album as well as Best New Artist. The album achieved commercial success eventually was certified platinum and their single ‘Hey Ho’ reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This time around, four years later, their sophomore album, ‘Cleopatra,’ is achieving not only critical acclaim, but commercial success that may even eclipse their debut. They’re certainly off to quite a start as the album has debuted at No. 1 the Billboard 200. That’s no small feat for a folk music band, but their continued success shows there’s an audience out there — perhaps bigger than one might estimate — that’s crying out for acoustic sounds and traditions. Yes, real musicians, real instruments, not just studio wizardry and digital pyrotechnics.

Critics are mostly applauding their sophomore efforts and here’s a roundup of reviews.

“….The playful college-bar flirtations of the debut album are a distant memory. Instead, the songs lament separations, question their own wanderlust and, at times, envision death as a refuge. “Cleopatra” is an album by a band that has toured arenas, but it’s more weary and disillusioned than triumphal. …..” — The New York Times

“….Rebelling against the “sophomore slump” and the ad-friendly sound that gave them notoriety, The Lumineers’ sophomore album, “Cleopatra”, is astute and nostalgic. […] If the Lumineers debut record was a representation of their metaphorical college years, Cleopatra is definitely their more mature, but confused, post-grad understanding of fame. …..” –Pop Matters

“….Indeed: their latest is filled with chain-gang choruses, songs about guns and badass female taxi drivers, and shoutouts to mythic icon Cleopatra. […] Cheesy at times? Maybe. Still, the Lumineers fill the mainstream roots-rock void left vacant since Mumford & Sons went electric….” — Entertainment Weekly

“…Broadly speaking, Cleopatra contains all the elements that made the group’s earlier effort a success: slowly, but irresistibly, building percussion, guitar and piano, draped behind the warm tones of frontman Wesley Schultz……” — The Upcoming

“….There’s something admirable about the album’s solemnity: the Lumineers are on a quest to be taken seriously, and even if they overplay their hand, the earnestness is ingratiating…..” — All Music

“….Apart from “Ophelia” and “Cleopatra,” it offers little with the potential to set the charts alight. Instead, it mines a sound that’s not nearly as immediate or even as accessible. For the most part, Cleopatra creates a slow drift, manifest in a sound that’s far too elusive for immediate gratification……” — Paste Magazine

“….Cleopatra is rocky in places, but there’s a lot that’s encouraging. Mostly, it feels like The Lumineers are talented songwriters, wary of repeating themselves, who know what they want to say, and are still figuring out how to say it…..” — Consequence of Sound

“….It’s an album that coheres more effectively than did the first, and it’s one that shows an adventurousness while staying within sight of the elemental spirit of its inspiration. ….” — The Line of Best Fit

Critics have had their say, and the marketplace has had a say as well. It’s looking up and up for the band, as they achieve not just critical but also commercial success in the folk music revivalism tradition. You can see The Lumineers ‘Cleopatra’ album cover and music videos below.

A photo posted by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on

Pictures: PR Photos

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