A Review of the Lumineers Cleopatra by Someone Who Only Listened to "Ho Hey"

A Review of the Lumineers Cleopatra by Someone Who Only Listened to "Ho Hey"

I mean, who listens to albums these days anyway?

The Lumineers have been around for awhile, and have gained a decent amount of popularity with their song “Ho Hey.” This song hit the music industry at its most desperate hour, ushering in a new era of folk rock popularity that will be celebrated for generations to come. For me, “Ho Hey” introduced an entire world of music I had never considered before. I had been getting by listening to the popular radio, consuming Katy Perry and the artist formerly known as Snoop Lion. However, this song thrust me unexpectedly into a new adventure, and I was swept away by possibilities.

I had always considered myself a lover of music, a connoisseur if you will. From classics like “Firework” by Katy Perry to bands so new none of my friends had heard of them, like Green Day, I listened to them all when they came on the radio. But I’d never considered bands that use acoustic guitars, primarily. I’d never even seen an acoustic guitar except at Youth Group. “Ho Hey” changed my life, so I decided to do something I’d never done before. I heard that the Lumineers were coming out with a new album, and I decided to listen to the whole thing before any of it was on the radio. The underground scene of Spotify was a terrifying place for me. In the suggestions list on the side, my beloved artists like Justin Bieber and Kidz Bop were juxtaposed by obscure, hipster bands like Of Monsters and Men, The Civil Wars, and Foy Vance. I kept my eyes firmly fixed on the middle of the page to avoid straying into the kind of music that will make the government run a background check on you. I clicked on the Lumineers newest album, titled Cleopatra. Right away, the cover struck me as spectacular. They’d managed to find a real photo of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt from way back when cameras were black and white!

When I started listening to the album, I was immediately shocked. This album was such a change from the Lumineers typical style! There was no acoustic guitar at all in the first song, “Sleep on the Floor.” But I could tell it was still the Lumineers because they did keep the classic Lumineers vocals of shout-singing in a slightly country twang. I was also a bit shocked by the morals inherent in this first song. It appeared that the Lumineers were encouraging youths to run away from home and take up a life of rampant lovemaking while joining a traveling band of gypsies. The second song, “Ophelia,” was a little less shocking to me. It seemed rather familiar, and I wonder if I may have heard it on the radio before. While there was little acoustic guitar, there was clearly a piano . If nothing else, I know what a piano is. This song was the closest one I could find to “Ho Hey”, but I still feel that it fell a little short.

As a whole, this album was subpar. At least on the radio, I know when one song ends and another begins because the DJs talk in between them. With this album, I sometimes couldn’t even tell where one song ends and another begins. One of the songs, at the very end, was called “Patience,” and didn’t even have any words in it. Maybe that’s why we’re supposed to be patient? There were a handful of songs named after girls, like “Cleopatra,” “Angela,” and “Ophelia.” I guess this shows that the Lumineers like girls? All in all, this album just left me confused. I don’t understand why all these songs are together. I guess they were okay. I just think “Ho Hey” was where the Lumineers peaked.

Cover Image Credit: NPR

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Why I Listen to Depressing Music Even Though I'm Depressed

Music that's powerful, music that speaks to me, music that means something.

It took me a long time to find my preferred genre of music. In middle school, I remember listening to pop songs that I often heard on the radio. I could (and still can) rap the entirety of Super Bass by Nicki Minaj and I dreamt about my crush professing his love to me by serenading me with Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes. 

By my freshman year of high school, those songs were no longer cool, so I went along with the crowd and started listening to the next most popular type of music: trap music. In my experience, these artists talked solely about fucking bitches and smoking ganja, even though, at that point in my life, I had no intent of having intercourse or "doing" the marijuana (boy was I naive). Though I listened to these genres to appease everyone else, I never felt completed like so many people claimed to feel when they listened to music. I did not have a passion for any bands or artists and I did not feel any sort of deep connection while I was listening.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I decided to explore certain genres that I hadn’t yet explored. The first bands I really grew to love were the Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, and The Kooks. Their music not only sounded great, but the lyrics actually meant something. They spoke about relationships, internal struggles, mental issues, and societal problems. Their lyrics resonated with me, and, surprisingly, the most depressing of their material resonated the most.

I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, though I was not diagnosed until a little over a year ago. I’ve been on meds and have learned coping techniques, but the most counterintuitive of those techniques is listening to these depressing songs.

One of the hardest struggles I have with depression is not being able to tell people how I am feeling, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t have the words. I find that listening to others put into words the exact emotions that I have not been able to convey myself is quite reassuring.  These songs help me better understand my own emotions and give me an idea of how to turn those emotions into spoken language. 

When Alex Turner says “you can shriek until you’re hollow or whisper it the other way” or when AJJ says "everything is real, but it's also just as fake” I feel as if someone has entered my thoughts and put into lyrics the fears and feelings I struggle with on a daily basis. These songs make me feel as if there is a whole community of people out there who experience the same, seemingly-lonely experiences that I do. I feel more connected to the world when I listen to this type of music. I feel understood.

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Two Inspiring Movies Everyone Should See

Movies that take you on an emotional roller coaster.

I have always loved watching movies, especially ones with inspiring and emotional storylines. I get very invested and intrigued (maybe a little too much), but I love having that whirlwind of emotions throughout the entire movie.

Recently, I got the opportunity to see two amazing movies that I think are very important and had a huge effect on me. The films were “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name”. Both of these films came out in 2017 so they are fairly new. They are making a huge impact and receiving a lot of deserved recognition.

“Lady Bird” has such a special storyline. It follows the relationship between a mother and daughter in such a realistic way. As many girls know, a relationship with a mother is not always an easy one and the film really captures that frustration.

It follows the life of a young girl that is about to leave to go to college. So many things change for girls during this time and there are so many emotional challenges and obstacles. I absolutely love how this film displays this situation and many relationships in a very graphic and honest way. I think it is so important for young girls to watch this film and channel all those feelings. It is incredibly relatable and it reminds girls to be courageous.

“Call Me by Your Name” is seriously one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is a love story, which we have seen is countless movies, but this film displays a relationship in such a unique and beautiful way.

The best thing about this movie is that it is awkward at some points and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I admire this because love and relationships aren’t always magical and perfect. It expresses a type of love that is so unapologetic and pure. I could watch it over and over and still have the same inspiring feeling at the end. If you are a fan of emotional love stories or small independent films watch this movie. You will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Connor Limbocker

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