Album Review: ‘Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’

America’s favorite indie/folk/psychedelic/gospel band branches out even further.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is a band with an understanding on how to generate a experimental mix of upbeat folk tunes with a partial psychedelic feel while never settling for the same sound. Therefore, fans shouldn’t be surprised when they find the band's latest album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, is extremely different from their past two albums.

A collection of emotionally charged lyrics (“I’ve been trying to pretend that death is my friend”) and brilliantly unique use of instrumental sound, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros seem to be tired of the standard-acoustic-guitar-and-rousing-chorus combo modern folk seems to rely on.

Instead, this album is based on a soulful, group-effort sound of the 10-member-strong group. A strange concoction of roots-filled folk and a overall ambient psychedelic feel, this album takes the band in a different, yet satisfying, direction.

The album has multiple high points, starting with the track “Lets Get High,” an awakening party song lifted through the clouds with a "Sergeant Pepper"-like trippy use of sound.

“Life is Hard” is a testament to the magical vocal duo of Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos. With its building horns and Ebert’s voice range, goose bumps are guaranteed.

The album closes appropriately with “This Life,” a song putting Ebert at Al Green status in today's folk world. Communicating a message of overcoming sadness through the power of music, the track tells listeners one thing: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are here to stay.

MOVE gives Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 3.5 stars out of 5.

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