outbrain
Close  

The charm is missing on The Head and the Heart’s new album

/ 02:17 PM May 17, 2019
The Head and the Heart music album review

This cover image released by Warner Bros. Records shows “Living Mirage”, the latest release by The Head and the Heart. Image: Warner Bros. Records via AP

On the heels of bands like the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons, the Head and the Heart arrived into the folk-rock scene at just the right time. Their self-titled debut — self-released in 2009 and later released by record label Sub Pop in 2011 — resonated with fans who delighted in their organic sound. From the tight harmonies to sparse production, the album was vulnerable and pure.

Fast-forward 10 years and the Head and the Heart have headed down a different path entirely. Fans looking for the folksy rock they fell in love with will be disappointed by the clean, heavily produced fourth record, “Living Mirage”.

ADVERTISEMENT

The album contains only a glimmer of the magic held within the Head and the Heart’s first two albums. The band’s third release, “Signs of Light”, hinted at the group’s transition toward pop, but it isn’t until the first two songs of “Living Mirage” that this identity shift is fully realized.

Those tracks — “See You Through My Eyes” and “Missed Connection” — are arguably the album’s weakest. Gone are the idiosyncrasies that colored the group’s early work. The rough edges of Jonathan Russell and Charity Rose Thielen’s voices have been polished to perfection, and with them, the texture and charm eradicated.

FEATURED STORIES

The Head and the Heart are the strongest with songs like “Glory of Music”, where the production is stripped back and the raw vocals shine through. The title track is a breath of fresh air as the harmonica trickles in and Russell croons, “When I give in to you/Every word that you say rings true.”

The album has some other moments of brilliance, but they seem fleeting or lost among a collection of songs that don’t hold the same weight as the past work of the band.

Simply put, the heart is gone from the Head and the Heart. CC

RELATED STORIES: 

Paul McCartney sees music as travelogue on new album

WATCH: Ed Sheeran releases music video for ‘Castle on the Hill’ 

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: folk rock, Living Mirage, music albums, music reviews, Sub Pop, The Head and the Heart
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.