a, Arts & Entertainment, Music

The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still

I listened to Let’s Be Still on constant alert for a track that might outshine “Rivers and Roads,” The Head and the Heart’s traditional concert -closer and all-around gem of a song. In that regard, their sophomore album didn’t succeed—the sendoff song is still the cream of their catalogue—but when they design their set lists, they’ll now have plenty of other quality tunes to choose from.

Let’s Be Still  is a beautiful album, one that showcases the diversifying musical arsenal of a relatively new group. Though the band has toured extensively the past two years and gained national recognition, they only formed in the summer of 2009.

Opening the Americana-style album are two tracks that directly touch on prominent American issues. The robust “Homecoming Heroes” rallies against the lagging war the country has been fighting overseas. “Another Story,” with a line from its chorus, “Every time I hear another story/ Oh the poor boy lost his head,” seems to respond to tragic events such as the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

Compositions like “Josh McBride” and “These Days Are Numbered” capture the band’s rustic, traditional folk sound that they often branch away from—but salvage here—with steady finger-picking and a soothing harmonica solo.

I applaud the risk-taking, but I found “Springtime” and “Summertime” to be questionable album calls. The synth-heavy pairing isn’t unpleasant, but it has no thematic unity with the rest of the album and doesn’t seem justified.

“10,000 Weight in Gold” is my pick for the album’s best track. While it probably won’t get the same airplay as single “Shake,” it pairs a sensitive ballad with a memorable riff that gives it staying power.

If Let’s Be Still is any indication, The Head and the Heart should be a fixture towards the top of the revived folk-pop scene in the foreseeable future.


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