The Walkmen’s sixth album in ten years doesn’t rip up the rulebook, but those of you paying attention are probably aware that they wrote a fair chunk of it anyway, so who cares? Fair-weather friends still looking for the follow-up to ‘The Rat’ can go and download ‘Heartbreaker’. “It’s not the singer it’s the song”, sings Hamilton Leithauser before the track reverts back to a cracking guitar hook. Title track ‘Heaven’ is another glorious pop moment. Mournful guitars mixed with uplifting melodies make it a little less obviously the stuff of hits, all for the better.

By the end, however, ‘Heaven’ peters out and fails to live up to its early promise. It contains some of The Walkmen’s strongest songs yet, original ideas and plenty of sonic variety, but whereas some tracks work, others feel half-baked. ‘No One Ever Sleeps’ is perhaps a metaphor for the album itself, containing strong moments before ending without ever really realising its true potential. A missed opportunity perhaps, but still a fine album.

By Olly Parker

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