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"Gloria" The Lumineers

by Shelby Toth - Executive Editor
Wed, Apr 17th 2019 01:00 pm

Back with a slightly moderated sound, The Lumineers released the first single off its upcoming third studio album, “III.” The song, “Gloria,” delivers a band-classic guitar-driven sound, but moves away from The Lumineers’ unique style. Instead, the song resembles almost any other indie folk song you can find and feels like an attempt at making a radio hit, leaving fans of the band scratching their heads. 

“Gloria” was released on April 5, only two days after the band announced “III.” With the announcement of the album came a video teaser trailer, flashing different images from its past discography and ending with a static “III,” all while a piano played in the background. The piano was melodic and soft, reminiscent of “Patience” from the band’s second album “Cleopatra,” which made those who loved that album hope the new work would have similar vibes.

However, “Gloria” is a step in a completely different direction. The single’s sound is more similar to the band’s first, self-titled album, but lacks the charm and originality. Instead, it tries delivering to a wider audience, breaching the pop genre with catchy verses and a chorus easy to sing along to. The intro to the song feels like a Petco commercial, and the repetition throughout the verses leaves listeners without something to grab on to.

The Lumineers’ previous records, from albums to singles, all have the ability to hook you instantly. Between the melodies, lyrics and overall tone, the band made it impossible not to feel something while listening. “Gloria” fails to do that.

The song’s only saving grace is the lyrics, as taking the time to focus on the words reveals a darker meaning behind the upbeat tone. The track details the relationship between an alcoholic mother and her son. Many lines in the song still have the same power that previous The Lumineers songs do, such as “Gloria, you crawled up on your cross/ Gloria, you made us sit and watch” and the outro “Gloria, will you just decide?/ Gloria, there’s easier ways to die/ Gloria, have you had enough?” The overall tone of the song, though, prevents listeners from connecting with the lyrics in the way the band intended.

While not all singles pre-released from an album show a clear direction of the upcoming sound, the two previous The Lumineers albums have all remained consistent throughout the entire work. Hopefully the other songs from the album will be able to make up for “Gloria’s” short-comings.

“Gloria,” overall, is not a bad piece. It does not live up to the expectations fans have of the band though. While catchy, the sound isn’t new or anything exciting. Though the album isn’t due for another five months, the next single will, with any luck, be more thought-provoking and easier to connect to.