Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ self-titled third album starts with two strong tracks. The optimistic Better Days is followed by bouncy country song Let’s Get High, although the latter ends with a downbeat three minutes of repetitive singing about love. Track three is the first time we really get to hear female vocalist Jane Castrinos, and the duet between her and lead singer Alex Ebert is pleasant if a little simplistic.
It’s probably around track four that the switched on listener will start to feel like they’ve heard it all before… There are a lot of moments on the album that bring other artists quite forcefully to mind. On Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros I heard Pink Floyd, James Brown, the Animal Collective, Arcade Fire and more. This is not necessarily a problem, but I don’t feel like this album has broken any new ground.
This is a fairly enjoyable album, but the whole thing is a bit soppy, with pretty much every song being a call to love. It’s quite appropriate then that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ final impersonation is of the king of overrated soppiness, Sir Paul McCartney. The shouty call and response and twee vocals on When You Were Young mean the album goes out on a slightly annoying fizzle.
PS- This week’s musical adventure review comes to you from a boat.