13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

III got its title not only from being The Lumineers’ third studio album, but also because it tells the three-chapter tale of the ill-fated Sparks family: matriarch Gloria, her son Jimmy, and her grandson Junior—three generations facing the ruination of addiction. The Sparks are a fictional family, but their stories come from a real place: Vocalist Wesley Schultz and percussionist Jeremiah Fraites crafted the characters from their own experiences of trying to save their loved ones from addiction.

Schultz’s anguished vocals contrast a twinkling piano on “Donna,” the story of a mother who supplements the emptiness of her domestic life with alcohol. Foreboding drums guide her deeper into her destruction on “Life in the City.” For anyone hoping for an encore of the band’s balmy sound from their early days, you’ll find a sonic match with “Gloria,” but tread lightly—the song moves at such a blithe pace that the words “Gloria, there’s easier ways to die” come as a shock to the ears.

“Jimmy Sparks” is a piano-driven tale of a man who copes with his depression through violence, alcohol, and gambling. The effects of Junior’s father’s disarray are apparent on “It Wasn’t Easy to Be Happy for You,” a song that plays as a breakup letter from someone who couldn’t handle the weight of mental illness anymore. “Is she dead? Is she fine?/Every day, every night,” Schultz whispers on “Leader of the Landslide,” a reminder of the album’s dismal origins.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

III got its title not only from being The Lumineers’ third studio album, but also because it tells the three-chapter tale of the ill-fated Sparks family: matriarch Gloria, her son Jimmy, and her grandson Junior—three generations facing the ruination of addiction. The Sparks are a fictional family, but their stories come from a real place: Vocalist Wesley Schultz and percussionist Jeremiah Fraites crafted the characters from their own experiences of trying to save their loved ones from addiction.

Schultz’s anguished vocals contrast a twinkling piano on “Donna,” the story of a mother who supplements the emptiness of her domestic life with alcohol. Foreboding drums guide her deeper into her destruction on “Life in the City.” For anyone hoping for an encore of the band’s balmy sound from their early days, you’ll find a sonic match with “Gloria,” but tread lightly—the song moves at such a blithe pace that the words “Gloria, there’s easier ways to die” come as a shock to the ears.

“Jimmy Sparks” is a piano-driven tale of a man who copes with his depression through violence, alcohol, and gambling. The effects of Junior’s father’s disarray are apparent on “It Wasn’t Easy to Be Happy for You,” a song that plays as a breakup letter from someone who couldn’t handle the weight of mental illness anymore. “Is she dead? Is she fine?/Every day, every night,” Schultz whispers on “Leader of the Landslide,” a reminder of the album’s dismal origins.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
179 Ratings

179 Ratings

woohMaster ,

Yes

Skin is now cleared, My crops are watered, depression gone.

Shane73607 ,

My Heart😌

The Lumineers never disappoint me. I’m always blown away by their originality and catchy melodies. One of my all time favorite bands and I admire them for always sticking to their roots.

mrs. chanandler bong ,

Uninspired

So far not so good...

These first few songs seem hollow.
There are lines taken directly from earlier albums which I have to think was deliberate but it comes off feeling lazy. The song rhythms and melodies are lacking and missing a lot.

Also, the album art is flat out bad and here’s that word again, lazy.

I don’t like the 3 stage release plan either.

I really hope Neyla (the third member, cellist, and backup vocalist) who departed the band prior to this album wasn’t the real heart, soul, and composer for the Lumineers. I had a feeling after the second album that she was being phased out and not being given fair credit & compensation. A couple years later and she leaves the band, hmm...

Bottom line is what we have so far is far from illuminating.

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