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The Walkmen — Heaven

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Aesthetically, Heaven follows in the steps of 2010’s Lisbon, although a reflective tone throughout recalls the act’s early days. While “The Love You Love” and “Nightingales” sound like echoes of “The Rat,” both level out after (relatively) wild openings, growing softer where “The Rat” grew louder.

The single “Heaven” is a song to behold, reflecting a band meshed together as tightly as possible. When singer Hamilton Leithauser lets out the opening line, “Our children will always hear / Romantic tales of distant years,” he’s just summed up the feeling of the whole record.

This is a band aging as well as George Clooney, and seeming to realize that the songs that sounded so right at 24 wouldn’t come across the same written at 34. Former headliners of the Norman Music Festival, The Walkmen aren’t the indie hellions stirring up a ruckus they were in Bows + Arrows or Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone; instead, they are fathers and model citizens who have found heaven on earth. —Joshua Boydston

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