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Bows and Arrows Import

4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • 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 42 customer reviews
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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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Another day, another "The" New York band. This would seem to be the case with the Walkmen, but if you pay attention to their cover art, you will see the music within: stark, black and white, and mysterious. They have more in common with Interpol and U2 than with the Strokes, and that is a blessing. Their sophomore album is one of those albums that are full of great songs, but one that won't shake up the world. It will always be a treasured part of your collection, but it won't set the world on fire. Which is a shame, because if more bands made music this insightful and touching, the music scene would be a better place. Their use of organ to add texture and atmosphere to the songs is a welcome touch, and gives the band character. It would be hard-pressed to find a song that reaches the greatness of "The Rat", but "Little House of Savages" and the title track come close, being fleshed out by moody, slower songs like "What's in it For Me?" Truly a fine sophomore effort, albeit one that doesn't stray too far from their debut's formula. The Walkmen definitely have the potential to achieve a tremendous album, and "Bows + Arrows" is a strong step in the right direction.
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Format: Audio CD
The Walkmen may be a young band, and "Bows And Arrows" their second album, but they definitely have their feet planted firmly in an earlier time. With their occasionally messy working-class rock sound and reflective lyrics, these guys sound a lot like they're trying to become this decade's equivalent of the Replacements. Indeed, on a few tracks I think I can hear frontman Hamilton Leithauser straining to replicate Paul Westerberg's raspy croon. And it's when they come closest to matching the Replacements' anthemic style that the Walkmen are at their best.
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.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Bows & Arrows" doesn't stray far from the first album by the New York-based (and D.C.-spawned) Walkmen, but it stays on firm ground. It has some duller moments (such as the plodding closing track) but manages overall to provide some good solid rock with a few alluring flourishes.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought "Bows + Arrows", the Walkmen's second album, when it came out in February, merely on the good buzz the band generated with its debut album. Three months later, I have played it on and off, and it's slowly growing on me. The Walkmen are generally thrown in the same bag of "up and coming bands" like the Libertines, the Strokes, the Stills, and even the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (all of them also "the" bands, coincidence?).
"Bows + Arrows" (11 tracks, 42 min.) starts of with its strongest tracks, a slowly building opener "What's In It For Me", followed by "The Rat" (radio single), an all-out rocker and the best song by far. Other notable tracks include "Little House of Savages", "The North Pole" and the delightful easy-going "New Year's Eve". Lead singer and guitarist Hamilton Leithauser is (too) tentative to make this a top-notch effort. Sometimes you think the band is gonna come crashing through your speakers, but it doesn't happen (no "wall of sound").
In all, this is not a bad album at all, but it suffers in comparison to, for example, the Stills' new album "Logic Will Break Your Heart". But I will be interested to see where the Walkmen go from here.
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