‘Cleopatra’ tells emotional story

Jessica Bursztynsky, Iv Leader Associate Editor

Four years after their debut on the indie music scene, The Lumineers have released their second full length album, “Cleopatra,” on April 8.

Most known for their song “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers quickly paved their way into fame, scoring performances on late night television, several music festivals and dozens of commercials.

By capturing the essence of a calm folk vibe, the band seems to have grown into their personal style. The Lumineers have crafted “Cleopatra” into the heartwarming simplicity it is, with no overwhelming chords or notes, capping in at just over 30 minutes in length.

Essentially the album tells the tale of wanderlust and the longing to leave a small town. Beginning the album, in “Sleep On The Floor,” lead singer Wesley Schultz calls on a lover to pack up their belongings and move on. “’Cause if we don’t leave this town / We might never make it out / I was not born to drown, baby come on.”

“Sleep On The Floor” is the perfect introduction to “Cleopatra.” It evokes feelings that every stereotypical small town resident has: the desire to escape and find something better. Touching on the dark side of escaping, “Sleep On The Floor” also raises the question of one’s willingness to face the bad days as well as the good: “Will you lay yourself down and dig your grave / Or will you rail against your dying day.”

The Lumineers also tell the tale of searching for a home in “Angela,” one of my personal favorites on the album. Schultzsinging, “Oh Angela it’s been a long time coming / Oh Angela spent your whole life running away / Home at last.” Describing a girl who left town in order to escape her thoughts and the strangers in it, “Angela” is almost haunting in its quest.

The title song, “Cleopatra,” describes the narrator missing out on essentially all of his life, “late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life,” yet being on time for death. “Cleopatra” is one of the two upbeat songs on the album, masking the sadness behind the tempo.

“My Eyes” vocalizes the confusion that comes with a sudden rise to fame in Hollywood: “They sold you a bridge / They fed you the lines / You always confused your servants for friends.” After their sudden emergence onto the music scene, The Lumineers is able to provide the emotion and understanding behind “My Eyes,” which they pair nicely with the simplicity of the song.

“In The Light” calmly evokes the emotions behind letting go. Simple and repetitive in its lyrics, “In The Light” leaves the narrator asking time for his yesterdays back, saying, “I don’t know why I just can’t let it go.”

The Lumineers have avoided packing “Cleopatra” full of exciting hit-making singles and opted for an album with a stronger narrative. After spending years crafting the album, making sure it is lyrically strong, The Lumineers are able to get away with a raw, emotional album. By finding their style and breaking free from their earlier upbeat folk rock, “Cleopatra” fits perfectly as an extension to the band’s first self-titled LP.

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