From just listening to the album, some listeners might be able to mitigate the weight of the Spark's addiction. With Anna Cordell, Nick Stahl, Charlie Tahan, Joshua Close. That said, most of the songs maintain a decidedly hollow-eyed sound, one that requires the listener to lean in and patiently wait for the songs to reach a crescendo. III and the accompanying music video are culturally important points of contact with the realities of addiction. Here the band is explicit, almost heavy-handed, in establishing the album's interconnections. Three generations of the same family grapple with addiction and inherited trauma in this cinematic rendering of the latest album from American folk-rock band The Lumineers. Directed by Kevin Phillips. The video, which screened as a whole at the Toronto International Film Festival, is fearless and authentic. Throughout, Junior's longing is palpable, especially when he expresses the heartfelt plea for "a mother for the first time". It was a momentous undertaking, but not one that Schultz and Fraites necessarily intended to attempt with this album. The concept album tells the story of a family dealing with alcoholism in three distinct acts, each featuring around three songs. When Gloria is succumbing to her addiction, infant Jimmy is often depicted crawling through the house alone or sitting next to his mother's incapacitated body. The Lumineers – III (Album Review) September 13, 2019. The next three tracks focus on Gloria's grandson Junior Sparks, battling his challenges with dependency and mental illness. The Lumineers, “III” (Dualtone Music Group) Films, movies, television, books: They all tell stories that allow audiences to see glimpses of themselves. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about The Lumineers - III at Discogs. The album opens with the eponymous "Donna", the mother to the main character, Gloria Sparks. With two platinum albums already under their belt, expectations are high for alternative folk outfit The Lumineers, who are touring in support of their latest studio album III. As such, the Lumineers offer a thoughtful and compassionate portrait of addiction's cycle. On their third album, “III,” The Lumineers continue their tradition of storytelling on a much more ambitious, personal scale. ... Use up arrow (for mozilla firefox browser alt+up arrow) and down arrow (for mozilla firefox browser alt+down arrow) to review and enter to select.  twitter. It’s an amazing record! To make art with a topic so painful, such as watching someone close to you battle alcoholism, is difficult. This theme continued with their second album in 2016, which was partly inspired by an eccentric taxi driver, the titular “Cleopatra,” whose life story had a profound effect on the band’s lead singer Wesley Schultz. As such, the album might seem inaccessible to some, schmaltzy to others. There are bands that can really pull off a powerfully bitter breakup song — The Lumineers, however, are definitely not one of those bands. The independent news organization of Duke University. The numeric title carries a double meaning: the album is a song cycle told in three parts, with the first two available as a digital EP prior to the September 2019 release of III. Weezer's inconsistent career continues with mediocre 'Black Album', 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' showcases the 1975's growth, Recess reviews: Led Zeppelin's 'BBC Sessions', Don't Tell Mother is Durham's best-kept secret, TECH-NICAL DIFFICULTIES: Duke men's basketball's comeback attempt falls short at No. Junior's narrative reestablishes addiction's cyclicality with references to being in eighth grade and "you spiked the Gatorade / And it was all for, for the weekend" as heard in "Left for Denver". Over the course of his three songs, Junior comes to the bitter realization that he should not be idolizing the members of his family that have fallen into the hands of alcoholism. Share Tweet. The Lumineers foreshadow Junior's sorrowful existence in Donna's narratives when it's established she "always hated the name, Junior". Music Reviews: III by The Lumineers released in 2019 via Decca Records. Do we really enjoy silence? Now, The Lumineers have blown that formula of catchy inoffensiveness to pieces. facebook The narrative can be powerful at moments; however, the songs fall flat when divorced from the album’s overarching story. On their third album, cleverly titled “III,” The Lumineers continue their tradition of storytelling on a much more ambitious, personal scale. As Fraite explained in an interview with NPR, “With drug addiction or alcoholism it really affects the individual and then it has a sort of fallout effect — similar to the effects of a radiation bomb — over time and over years and years, it continually tends to affect people's loved ones.”, While “III” presents an interesting and personal concept, listeners still might find the album a little gimmicky. ‎The Lumineers: III (2019) directed by Kevin Phillips • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd Their newest album, III, is a glorious explosion that reminds fans what folk rock is really about: unflinching storytelling.The new project follows one family's story of addiction through three generations. Genre: Folk Pop. The tale is grounded. Buy The Lumineers's album titled III. While also not connecting with the overarching narrative and theme, it carries a strange sentiment for what sounds like a lighthearted acoustic number. Isolating a song like this from the rest of the album makes one realize just how disappointing many of the tracks are alone. Gone are the days of the Lumineers' pop-standards and monosyllabic earworms. Released 13 September 2019 on Dualtone. Shop Vinyl and CDs and complete your The Lumineers collection. As well as being the Lumineers' third album, the album title also references that the album is presented in three chapters, each focusing on a different main character of the fictional Sparks family. © 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. The first chapter of the album’s story deals with Gloria Sparks, the alcoholic matriarch of the Sparks family. Yet the visual representation demands the viewer bear witness to the family's trauma. At first, "Gloria" sounds misplaced, but in actuality, the song aptly depicts the psychological contours associated with addiction. I highly recommend both the album and short film III to anyone who likes The Lumineers, but especially to people who don’t really like or know much about them or their music, because this album is arguably their best yet, and this film truly enhances the experience of listening to the album. The Lumineers - Left For Denver (Part 6 Of 10) III is a concept album, based loosely on Schultz’s own family history. Three generations of the same family grapple with addiction and inherited trauma in this cinematic rendering of the latest album from American folk-rock band The Lumineers. AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine [+] III is a prosaic title for a release as ambitious as the Lumineers ' third effort. Through "Jimmy Sparks" listeners learn that after Junior was born "the mother had other reasons to live / She left the baby with a note on the bed". While “III,” with its intricate lyrical storytelling, tells a tragic story about how cyclical alcoholism travels through generations, the songs themselves are underwhelming and near indistinguishable from The Lumineers’ previous work. III, an Album by The Lumineers. The fictional Sparks family stumble through a harsh life, meeting addiction, violence, misogyny and desperation along the way. Genres: Folk Pop, Folk Rock, Americana. Gone are the days of the Lumineers' pop-standards and monosyllabic earworms. The image of a deserted child is frequently re-emphasized in the music video. And those consequences are never good. The underpinnings of addiction are impossible to identify. One of the best album contenders for 2019. The Lumineers III Editorial Reviews Two-time GRAMMY-nominated band The Lumineers are back with their third album, III, a cinematic piece presented as a narrative in three chapters, with each one centering on one main character. Gloria, based on Wesley Schultz's family member, is ravished by alcoholism. Although it is heavy with both emotion and story, it is far from a flawless album. The album ends with the track "Salt and the Sea" avowing addiction as a disease rather than a problem of will. The Lumineers have always had a knack for narrative songwriting. Subscribe to our weekly email about what's trending at Duke. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development. SHARES. His life is defined by suffering, violence, and mental illness. T he Lumineers’ third full-length studio album, aptly titled III, is as much of a cinematic masterpiece as it is a masterpiece of an album. This is particularly true for lead singer Schultz and drummer Jeremiah Fraites; Schultz was childhood friends with Fraites’ brother who died as a result of his destructive alcoholism. The Lumineers have this uncanny ability to make folk songs sound like pop ones. The Lumineers’ third effort is a difficult one to take in. Is Christian Petzold's 'Undine' Myth or Therapeutic Dialogue? In III, they continue to make quietness and self-reflection feel like constant desires. Her songs, including “Gloria,” explore how her alcoholism affects the relationship between her and her children: “Gloria, you crawled up on your cross; Gloria, you made us sit and watch; Gloria, no one said enough is enough.”, The second chapter concerns Gloria’s grandson, Junior Sparks. III is a cinematic album undertaking a complicated subject. III is a cerebral and disquieting portrait of addiction. The mania exhibited by Gloria and Donna reappears in Jimmy's pressured speech. Whereas the lyrics don't fully capture Gloria's psychology, the video depicts the character suffering from a similar mental illness as her mother's. Considering its tone, lyrics like “I took the poison praying you'd feel it too” and “Wrapped my neck and prayed that you’d feel the noose” might make listeners do a double-take. Share and discuss “Third time is not the charm on The Lumineers’ ‘III’” on social media. All rights reserved.PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated. The … Junior is positioned as a character that demands empathy when he laments "Fate has dealt me a lonely blow" in "Leader of the Landslide". The Lumineers have told their own story in “III,” a 10-track concept album composed of three chapters that follows the fictitious Sparks family. In III, the Lumineers tackle addiction emphatically, from a very deeper place inside heart. Moreover, "Gloria's" tempo is reminiscent of Donna's periods of frenzy and inactivity, a commonality engendered by so many grappling with addiction. Strangely, no song is particularly memorable between all the rough acoustic riffs and Schultz’s signature raspy vocals. On their third album, cleverly titled “III,” The Lumineers continue their tradition of storytelling on a much more ambitious, personal scale. As such, the Lumineers deliver the album with compassion and clemency. Take, for example, the song “It Wasn’t Easy to Be Happy for You,” from the album’s especially shaky second chapter. My favorite is not Gloria, the lead single, it’s Jimmy Sparks. Album Review: The Lumineers – “III” Ryan Feyre September 19, 2019 For their latest album, The Lumineers follow the old adage of “three times’ a charm.” The project’s title is III … Click or Press Enter to view the items in your shopping bag or Press Tab to interact with the Shopping bag tooltip. However, The Lumineers’ ambition for “III” is not without any merit — it’s an album of charming, albeit thematically bleak and often forgettable, acoustic tunes. Indeed, they mostly earn some semblance of that title. In the song “Leader of the Landslide,” he describes how Gloria “drank the whole bottle, forgot my name; all I ever wanted was a mother for the first time,” coming to the angry conclusion that “maybe when she's dead and gone I'll get some sleep.”, In the album’s third chapter, the cycle comes full circle: just as Gloria’s alcoholism ruined her relationship with her kids, her son Jimmy lets his alcoholism stand between his relationship with his son, Junior. It’s simple, yet complex, lyrics are very touching and clever, music is top notch, you cannot skip a song. As such, the Lumineers deliver the album with compassion and clemency. Jimmy is an abuser, chronic gambler, alcohol, and pill addict. The Lumineers broke up the story telling by splitting III into three parts, the final of which will be released on Sept. 13, along with the album as a whole for the first time. III is accompanied by a ten-part music video, essentially a short film, directed by Kevin Phillips, creator of Netflix's "Super Dark Times". PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have to move off their service. Pretend It's a City Proves Once Again, You Can't Argue with Fran Lebowitz, Beauty and Horror in George C. Wolfe's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Farnoosh Samadi's Impressive Debut, '180 Degree Rule', Leaves a Lasting Mark, 'Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives', Megan Rapinoe's 'One Life' Is Pitch-Perfect, The Mandalorian's Political Allegory: Diversity Is the Way, Steve McQueen's 'Small Axe' and Emerging Institutions of Black Power, COVID-19 and Our Purgatory of Consumerism, Barry Gibb Re-Visits Bee Gees Classics with Superproducer Dave Cobb, J Mascis Welcomes You to Three Nights of Exquisite Songcraft and Pure Fun, Dave Scanlon's 'Pink in each, bright blue, bright green' Is a Stark, Deeply Elegant Solo Work. There is no emotional reprieve in III. The complexity associated with addiction and those suffering from the disease is so vast, lesser musicians would shy away from undertaking the subject. If this were released in the 70’s, it would have topped the charts for weeks. The Lumineers present a self-assured sound that seems to demand consideration as the new folk classics. Both Gloria and Donna embody the intricacies of struggling with illness while fully illustrating the repercussions of alcohol dependency. Photo: Danny Clinch / Courtesy of the artist, The Beatles 'Let It Be': So Good They Ruined It for Everyone - PopMatters ›, The Lumineers - North American Tour 2020 ›, The Lumineers (@thelumineers) | Twitter ›, The Lumineers (@thelumineers) • Instagram photos and videos ›, Elvis Costello Gets Dark and Brooding on 'Hey Clockface', Popular Culture Is Eating Its History and OMD Are Not Complaining, Shanghai Restoration Project Offer Innovative Alternate Reality on 'Brave New World Symphony', Maxwell Stern Gives Us a Warm Car in Frigid Winter with 'Impossible Sum', Susan Alcorn's 'Pedernal' Is a Chamber Jazz/Americana Blend, MetalMatters: The Best Metal Albums of December 2020. Songwriters Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites tell the story in three chapters following three generations of one family all within the folksy and poetic tone that makes them The Lumineers. The album ends with Junior bitterly abandoning his father: “The old man waved his hands with tears in his eyes, but Jimmy's son just sped up… ‘cause it’s me or him.”. Unlike the band’s iconic folk-infused ballad “Ho Hey,” it is unlikely any single song from “III” will be stuck in your head for the next few years. Rated #1249 in the best albums of 2019. III and the accompanying music video are culturally important points of contact with the realities of addiction. The tale is grounded. The Lumineers have told their own story in “III,” a 10-track concept album composed of three chapters that follows the … The Lumineers – III (Album Review) Posted at 09:57h aLfie vera mella cryptic rock, CrypticRock, Music reviews, News, Reviews 0 Comments. 10/10 20 Virginia Tech, Michael Mutersbaugh remembered for generosity, optimism, Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Virginia Tech, Duke reports 34 new positive COVID-19 tests for students, 28 for faculty and staff out of 10,287 total, Duke alum to lead Biden's COVID-19 response. Just over a year ago on September 13, 2019, The Lumineers released “III” after teasing it on social media and releasing the single “Gloria” in April. But "Gloria" presents a facade; the buoyancy is akin to an addict's attempt at hiding their addiction with fabricated happiness. The Lumineers III album review The Lumineer’s third studio album titled III is not just a an album. The jingly chords and catchy lyrics are unlike the rest of the album's bleak and minor-chord driven music. While the Sparks family of the album is fictional, the concept is rooted in the band members’ real-life struggles with cyclical addiction. The subsequent "Life in the City" and "Gloria" shifts the lens to Donna's daughter Gloria Sparks. “Democracy” is so in-the-vein in its execution that it’s a shame it’s only a Bonus Track, even if it is a cover. Danny Clinch /Courtesy of the artist The Lumineers have taken their latest album, III, as an opportunity to shine a light on a topic that's close to many of the members' lives — addiction. Schultz's vocal delivery is emotive, thereby creating an affinity between musician, character, and listener. Many stunning songs from their self-titled first album, which projected them into the center of the indie music scene in 2012 with the hit single “Ho Hey,” are stories at their core. III really captures that pain and struggle in a way that’s not negative, but rather empathetic and realistic at the same time. Both women are defined by periods of mania followed by inactivity, all extenuated by heavy drinking and dangerous behavior. They take the stringed sensibilities and emotional sensitivities of Americana music and, somehow, make it feel like Top 40/ mainstream radio. Gone are the days of the Lumineers' pop-standards and monosyllabic earworms. The Lumineers III — the band obviously likes their album titles short and to the point — maintains the group’s fondness for providing hushed melodies that quietly build, billow and then conclude with majesty and grace. The Lumineers’ III is a visual exploration of the band’s third and latest album. While it seems that the band’s artistic progression may have stalled, their new album may be worth checking out — even if only to appreciate a new concept album in an age where they are few and far between. 22. 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