A Hundred Miles Off (Record Collection)

The Walkmen 

A Hundred Miles Off (Record Collection)

For all the security lockdown and insane hype over the Walkmen's third release, the disappointment is almost angering. Central to this annoyance is singer Hamilton Leithauser's voice, which has reached new heights of obnoxiousness on a largely tedious and boring album. What started off as a promising journey from charming, jaunty dance tracks (see first album Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone) to contagious, frenetic energy and hi-hat smashing (see second album Bows & Arrows) has been usurped by a haze of directionless guitar strumming, painful off-key crooning, and even a misstep into punk. That said, there are a couple of noteworthy moments. Opener "Louisiana" starts off as a sunny folk-pop number, then dives into a Caribbean-flavored trumpet blast for a chorus that strangely works. Midway through the album, the refreshing "Lost in Boston" adheres to traditional song structure, complete with marching drums and shimmering guitar reminiscent of early U2 charisma. Unfortunately for the rest of the album, A Hundred Miles Off lives up to its name.

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