The Walkmen - Heaven
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It's difficult to write songs about contentment that aren't boring, or worse, smug, however, The Walkmen manage to pull this off on Heaven, which they recorded during the celebration of the band's tenth anniversary. Just how far the band has come since the Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone days is reinforced throughout the album, from the pictures of the bandmembers with their families to Phil Ek's clean but unobtrusive production. This feeling of homecoming is all the more striking compared to their previous album, the woozy travelogue Lisbon. Though that album's brightest moments hinted at the happier version of the band that Heaven presents, it's still somewhat startling to hear Hamilton Leithauser and crew sound so settled on these songs. "Love Is Luck" and "Leigh's Song" sound bathed in sunshine, even more so than they did on A Hundred Miles Off.