Monday, May 13th, 2019

The Lumineers – Gloria

We had to obscure these identities, given the score…


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[3.33]

Taylor Alatorre: Ostensibly a song about the intergenerational traumas of alcohol addiction, this is really part of a controlled experiment about how many people you can trick into hearing something deeply transcendent in the pious crooning of a literary female name. The comparison groups in this experiment are “Ophelia,” “Cleopatra,” and “Angela.”
[3]

Alfred Soto: To be a Lumineer is to flicker in obeisance to a phantom woman bound in Van Morrison, Christian theology, and bullshit. Gravely vocal and acoustic strums not required.
[1]

Jonathan Bradley: I guess a Lumineer would be a traveler who sets out in search of the light, which is one way to understand the rousing cheer that distinguishes this group’s songs. (It also might characterize the optimism of a folk-rock group that gives their original work a girl’s name already bound to extremely familiar songs by giants like U2 or Laura Branigan or Patti Smith and Them.) I wonder what the Lumineers might find if they were willing to turn away from their light for a moment: if they could maintain their blazing intensity of feeling without resolving their melodies at the end of every stanza that passes by. What if they were hoping to find something?
[4]

Alex Clifton: I listened to this and thought, “Dang, this sounds just like their first album, which came out when I was in undergrad. What year was that anyway?” Folks, that was 2012, which it turns out was a whole seven years ago. And in all those seven years, the Lumineers have been doing the same goddamn thing. It’s not necessarily bad, per se — their music has always been competent plonky folk-pop that makes my heart feel a little lighter — but it feels starkly weird in 2019 to hear something that immediately transports me back to the beginning of the 2010s. So much else in the world has changed; I wish these guys would grow a little more, too.
[4]

Katie Gill: It’s certainly a Lumineers song! And it’s certainly a Lumineers song that I would have heard back in like, 2014. It’s fun and charming in it’s own way with a lovely piano break that I honestly wasn’t expecting, but it is nothing if not a teensy bit outdated.
[5]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Even The Lumineers seem to know just how much this song is riding on the borrowed gravitas of vague religiosity and lazy vocal chants. “Have you had enough,” they sing, a few seconds before the song comes to an end. Was this all meant to be torture?
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