Album review: Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Better Days (Gentlemen Of The Road)


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The Independent Culture

The cult-like enthusiasm of The Magnetic Zeros is best experienced live, where their massed forces translate into a somewhat muddy morass.

"Let's Get High" is typical: skiffle-styled verses about being "high on love", swathed in handclaps, tambourine, rasping horns and fanciful psychedelic effects, pointlessly prolonged by an interminable vocal coda. "Two" is better, akin to The Rooftop Singers, at the intersection of corny and catchy.

Elsewhere, the style alters subtly – "Life Is Hard" is a wannabe anthem, "They Were Wrong" a lugubrious Leonard Cohen/Lee Hazlewood cross – but is most effective on gospel-soul cut "Please!", with falsetto lines like "War is the evil of man's repressed libido".

Download: Please!; Two; In The Lion