- Audio CD (March 16 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Warner Bros
- ASIN: B00018D486
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
|1. What's In It For Me|
|2. Rat, The|
|3. No Christmas While I'm Talking|
|4. Little House Of Savages|
|5. My Old Man|
|6. 138th St.|
|7. North Pole, The|
|8. Hang On Siobhan|
|9. New Years Eve|
|10. Thinking Of A Dream I Had|
|11. Bows And Arrows|
A definite essential for 2004.
Making the most immediate impact on "Bows And Arrows" are the hard-driving uptempo rockers "The Rat," "Little House of Savages," and "Thinking of a Dream I Had," where Leithauser's impassioned howl is backed by walls of jangly guitars and Matt Barrick's whip-smart drumbeats. With Leithauser intoning his longing lyrics in an aching croak, "My Old Man" and the post-breakup story "The North Pole" manage to be both depressing and defiant at the same time. Slower, atmospheric, almost elegaic songs like "What's In It for Me," "No Christmas While I'm Talking," and the piano-driven "Hang On, Siobhan" may take a little time to warm up too, but they're worth the wait. However, the band doesn't really stretch out until the concluding title track, a five-minute plus number that burns slowly and builds steadily through some insistent drumming and twisted guitar work. It's a little weirder than the rest of what's found here, but that winds up being a good thing.
While the quality of the songwriting and musicianship is generally good, I still have to say I was a tad bit disappointed in this album.Read more ›
A slow, reverberating riff opens to the mournful question, "What In It For Me?", before kicking off into a round of solid rock songs (the vaguely new-wave "Rat," the rather strange "House of Savages"), melancholy laments ("No Christmas While I'm Talking," the music-box ballad "Hang on Siobhan") before winding up with the soaring rocker "Thinking of a Dream I Had" and the unexceptional title track.
Perhaps the biggest problem with "Bows & Arrows" is the hesitant quality -- nothing ever breaks loose. It may please you, but it won't blow you off your feet. But the unpolished atmosphere of it will make your spine tingle at times, and it hints that the Walkmen may get even better.
The guitar work tends to range from good to outstanding, especially when it erupts in "Rat" or twangs in "My Old Man," with a backdrop of thunderous percussion. Twining through it all is an undercurrent of piano and organs, a shivery wall of synths that are twisted every which way. At times, the synths even sound a bit like a string chorus.
Frontman Hamilton Leithauser has a sort of raw, hoarse voice, a bit like a very desperate Bob Dylan. At times ("My Old Man") the music drowns him out, but most of the time he adds to the atmosphere. Not to mention the raw emotion he gives to lines like "You've got a nerve to be asking a favor/You've got a nerve to be calling my number/I know we've been through this before .Read more ›