steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

The Walkmen

"Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone" CD

StarTime International

Genres: indie pop

StarTime Int'l
285 5th Ave.
PMB #452
Brooklyn, NY 11215

July 22 - 28 2002

The press release said that The Walkmen were poised to be the next Strokes, that is, until they cracked under the pressure. Well, it's true. The Walkmen have become a bit of a buzz-band on the mainstream scene, but that is by no means a problem. The world needs The Walkmen just as much as they need to dispose of Britney Spears. Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone, The Walkmen's most recent work, is a pop album. No, scratch that - Everyone is a a dark, gritty pop album, right down to the cover art depicting of a group of teenage boys smoking. The image is creepy - it's almost surreal - but so is the album.

Instead of going for the dead-on pop music approach - which can be compared to sex in its zest for instant gratification - The Walkmen construct moods and sound sculptures, providing a cinematic background to lead singer Hamilton Leithauser's Casablancas-esque voice. "French Vacation", for example, combines soft, yet passionate vocals with unusual, chiming guitar chords and calm, steady drumming to produce a magnificent effect. "Rue The Day", interestingly enough, is like being submerged in a huge tank of water, while a band is floating around you, slowly playing their instruments and singing passionately. It's hard to explain, but definitely there...

All in all, Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone is a wonderful record. Like the calmer side of Wilco, The Walkmen are emotional sound architects - putting together complex melodies and moods like there's nothing to it. From the calm start of "They're Winning" to the passionate, breathless closer "I'm Never Bored", Everyone is an outstanding album.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 50 min 56 sec; 13 tracks; distributed by Amazon; released 2002]