http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/edward-sharpe-and-the-magnetic-zeroes-this-life-1373909611.jpg Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
July 23, 2013

Edward Sharpe is a sort of fictional spiritual leader dreamed up by L.A. bandleader-vocalist Alex Ebert. And on his outsize folk-rock band's big-tent third LP, he's in full-on love-drunk messiah drag. "I've seen better days/Dripping down your face," begins the LP's psychedelic sermon, followed by a mission statement: "We don't have to talk, let's dance!"

 The sound of the 10-piece outfit, with six more players assisting, is huge and more evocatively produced than previous efforts (see the Neil Diamond-meets-Otis Redding orchestral drama of "Life Is Hard"). The choral and brass arrangements are rich, the band's hands must be calloused from clapping, and the grooves lope and boogie hard. Ebert's alternately gravelly and whiny soulman exhortations goose things along, while singer Jade Castrinos again proves a crucial partner (see her stirring George Harrison-style spiritual "Remember to Remember"). At their best, they conjure a California-commune Arcade Fire.

 But they can also verge on a hippie Hee Haw. Lyrics long on heavy-lidded heh-hehs fall flat, and Ebert's over-emoting gets wearisome. "I feel the love, I feel the power," he sings on "In the Lion." Nothing wrong with that, but as the album proves, good vibes only get you so far.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »