You & Me
You & Me is an album the Walkmen have been striving toward for years, said Jason Crock in Pitchforkmedia.com. Known for their “hard and immediate” sound, the retro-leaning rock band has always “reached for the rafters,” whether on stage or in the studio. Veins bulging, frontman Hamilton Leithauser attacks notes with every muscle in his body, and the band races toward each song’s climax, more concerned with emotional effect than emotional engagement. But the Walkmen’s fifth album, considerably slower and steadier, “invites you to spend time with it.” A cavernous “echo encircles every song,” said Jim Farber in the New York Daily News, “lending the music a shrouded allure.” “Donde Esta la Playa” opens with muffled guitars and rumbling percussion, and Leithauser achieves both “tenderness, in its hushed moments, and bravado” in its crests. The Walkmen have finally reached a “balance of hard and soft,” a combination that has never been clearer than on “Red Moon” and “On the Water.” Leithauser sounds “more pointed” than ever and the “musicianship dazzles,” said Susan Visakowitz in Billboard. The band’s hazy whorl occasionally seems to engulf the lyrics entirely, making for “muted but intoxicating” music.