Megan Harrington: In a world as insular, unchanging, and mired in tradition as folk music, the Lumineers stand out as a group with a diverse set of influences. On “Ophelia” they meld The Band, Billy Preston, and Frankie Lymon in a parable about the pitfalls of fame. In keeping with folk and the Lumineers, it’s boring — but this is an asset! In a world oversaturated with color, overstimulated with movement, this trio promises you three minutes to catch your breath. Sink further into the song and it’s a dark corner, full of suggestion that leads back into itself without resolution. “Ophelia” shifts and turns in ways that don’t have to be perceptible, its one true constant is that it’s easily ignored.
Maxwell Cavaseno: OH SHIT Y’ALL, THE KINGS OF #AMERICANA ARE BACK. LISTEN TO THAT STUPID SOULFUL PIANO LINE AND THE STOMPING BEING USED OF PERCUSSION. WATCH IT PUT SOME HAIR ON YOUR BODICE. PHEW. LISTEN TO THAT TALK OF FLOODS, THESE ALLUSIONS OF A FANTASY LAND WHERE iPHONES DON’T EXIST AND PEOPLE COINCIDED WITH WHO THEY’RE ‘SUPPOSED’ TO BE. MAKES YOU WANNA CHOKE AND VOMIT A SERIES OF BANDANAS, TIED TOGETHER LIKE THOSE CLOWNS REGURGITATING HANDKERCHIEFS. GODDANG. #AMERICANA.
Anthony Easton: There is something comforting in a band retaining their aesthetic, though it has gone quickly out of fashion.
Cassy Gress: You name your band Lumineers, and your song “Ophelia,” and you are setting serious expectations for the tone/sound of your song – all of which were met! This song goes nowhere, accomplishes nothing, and mostly just reminds me of those shred videos.
Jonathan Bogart: I want to be fair and give these guys a shot, but then in the second line he swallows “better” to sound like “bear,” and I just can’t fucking take it. I hate the vocal and melodic laziness, the literary and musical reference-dropping without any intellectual or musicological chops to back it up, the cloying sentimentality, the self-satisfaction, the too-easily-caricatured whiteness. Of course what I hate about it is precisely what I hate or fear about myself; but that knowledge doesn’t reconcile me to it any more, it just drives me further away.
Alfred Soto: Having a new girlfriend doesn’t entitle you to that echo.
Patrick St. Michel: The Lumineers, like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters And Men back when that makeshift scene dominated festival lineups, are a completely “alright” band stuck in a time where everything is polarized. “Ophelia” is alright, the ho and heys that stereotyped their first big songs scrubbed out for some speakeasy piano and a chorus that seems closer to, like, Fleet Foxes than anything else. It’s pleasant and probably catnip for people who crave musicianship in radio listening, a demographic that has always existed and always will. I’m scared I’m egg manning here, but I’ve always gotten the sense The Lumineers and the other rustic folk-pop groups serve as a talking point for a lot of people who hear songs at the drugstore.
Thomas Inskeep: Echo. Piano. Gloom. Plod.
Brad Shoup: Imagine an even more punchable McCartney trying even harder to twee up The White Album.