The Walkmen

You & Me (Gigantic Music)

Phases and Stages

The Walkmen

You & Me (Gigantic Music)

The Walkmen began fierce, fleeting even, Hamilton Leithauser screaming tantrums, but there comes a time when life becomes less severe, when it means something bigger. The NYC quintet's fourth original effort, You & Me, astounds in its strong restraint and classicism. Leithauser enunciates (!) through midnight mullings as Matt Barrick re-establishes himself as one of the most expressive modern-day percussionists. Recorded live in one room, You & Me slumbers along in solemn introspection, opener "Dónde Está la Playa" introducing the Walkmen's grownup sound as muddy, vibrant, soothing. Hints of jazz and muted guitar ("On the Water," "Canadian Girl") prove maturity where once lay only anger. Glimpses of years past ("The Blue Route," "I Lost You") boost familiarity, but that guttural plea still resides in a Waitsian hue through album standouts "In the New Year" and "Four Provinces." The Walkmen have solidified their place among our memories.

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