edwardsharpe

Alex Ebert, or perhaps his messianic alter ego Edward Sharpe, is consumed with reaching peace. “There’s no protest / There’s just songs when we’re high on love,” shrieks Ebert on the feebly titled ‘Let’s Get High’. This is a thematic juncture throughout the entirety of ‘Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ and it’s unremittingly tedious. Discourse of love, harmony and magic predominate, and it all sounds extraneously wearisome to those who don’t see the world though a rose tinted lens.

The sound is huge, however – production is more embellished than on 2012’s ‘Here’ and instrumental arrangements are rich, albeit often disordered and carelessly mixed. Ultimately, though, it’s the inordinate hand clapping, the sermonic choral chants and Ebert’s pacifist exhortations that make the record verge on irrational hippy folly. By challenging spirituality it abandons much of the successful pop appeal of their 2009 debut ‘Up From Below’ in favour of an effusive and inauthentic nod to psychedelia.

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