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"You & Me"

The Walkmen – You & Me
01 October 2008, 10:00 Written by Lauren Down
Six years is a long time in any ones books; especially so in the buzzing metropolis of New York and it's music scene which shot The Strokes into the limelight back in 2001. Yet six years is how long The Walkmen have been kicking around, recording anathematic tracks like 'The Rat' and 'Little House of Savages'. And while You & Me is a much slower, more mature album I hope that it generates as much excitement and radio play as those early tracks from Bows + Arrows.‘Dónde está la Playa' starts things off in a slightly haunting manner, as the stifled percussion and the minimal nature of the guitar hums gently in the background. Over an irregular bass line frontman and lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser sings "Well its back to the battle today/And I wouldn't have it any other way." The emotional nature of The Walkmen's lyrics has always been there, but on their latest offering it is raw, stripped bare and laid out for all to hear. Although the optimism is still there Leithauser seems to be begrudgingly accepting all the battles that he has to fight over the past few years.The Walkmen do have a very nostalgic air about them, which manages to be angry, confused and bitter and yet set to a more upbeat instrumental in songs like ‘Four Provinces'. Songs such as ‘Long Time Ahead of Us' and ‘New Country' are just beautiful, and if you listen closely they become as intense as they are relaxed. The gritty howl of Leitheuser's voice has developed into a smoother, less harrowing cry; gaining a greater sincerity through his Dylan-esque mannerisms in his quips, phrases and adept observations.Those hoping for another woozy traipse from nightclub to after-party soundtrack along the lines of Bows And Arrows will be disappointed, but then, this is an album about growing up. When Leitheuser sings, "You keep replaying through the days / That have brought you to this place / What happened to you?" in ‘The Blue Route', it hits home. Stand out track ‘In The New Year' points out, realizing "It's all over anyhow" can be invigorating, a way of preparing oneself for the next, far more interesting chapter. 80%The Walkmen on MySpace
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