A Hundred Miles Off

After the gothic mystique of their debut album, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, and the reminiscent schemes of Bows + Arrows, The Walkmen present A Hundred Miles Off, a record that despite its collaboration over distance lives up to, if not surpasses, the group's progressive credits. With covers of Harry Nilsson's Pussycats, the album features the familiarity of Hamilton Leithauser's Dylan-esque vocals and an elevated sensibility to their music-making. "Don't Get Me Down (Come On Over Here)" beats with an entrance of tambourine to capture as Leithauser screams, "Don't get me down!", while "Louisiana" recounts the grass and dirt of trumpet-filled moments in the country as "Tenleytown" (which Pete Bauer dubbed as their "attempt to write a hardcore song while still sounding like us") rages feverishly and "Another Goes By" saunters solemnly.

Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me was the kind of record that became a treasure for its beautifully robust depiction, while Bows + Arrows produced a tightly knit glimmer of clairvoyance that provided traces of U2 in "What's in It for Me". However, A Hundred Miles Off wanders off the path paved by the band's previous albums, and in loosened form, adds flare to the usual Walkmen fringe. What fans of the past may miss, newly generated admirers should embrace in a band continuing to evolve for the better musically. The latest album is neither Everyone nor Bows, but without tossing baby with bath water, offers a re-invented Walkmen that triggers melancholy mood lifts in the most sincere and simplest manner possible, as only veterans could.

The Walkmen
Record Collection
"Lousiana" MP3

A Hundred Miles Off