The inaugural edition of Single of the Week features ‘Ophelia’ by American folk-rock group the Lumineers. This is the lead single off their new album Cleopatra, which is set to be released April 8th, 2016.
I’m captivated by the foot stomps at the start of ‘Ophelia’. Such a technique does a great job of reminding the listener of the folk influence in the song. The bass also gives the song some charm. It makes ‘Ophelia’ distinct from the Lumineers’ past discography, where the bass was strictly rhythm. Ophelia’s greatest strength is the beautiful piano work. It plays rhythm, accompanies the melody, and creates beautiful transitions between verses.
The only problem I have with Ophelia are the lyrics. I find them to be minimal and meaningless. The Lumineers have the ability to tell great, thought-provoking stories in their music, like in ‘Charlie Boy’, ‘Gun Song’ and ‘Big Parade’. Wesley Schultz, lead singer of the group, has said that this song is about becoming stars. That may be so, but I’m looking forward for better stories on Cleopatra.
That being said, Ophelia is a good song and I’m really excited for the return of the Lumineers. This single does a great job of creating hype for the new album and attracting new fans. It could easily fit alongside the songs of the band’s debut album, which will please old fans. Ophelia’s subtle differences will be reflected on a greater scale on Cleopatra. Schultz has promised that the new album will be sonically different compared to The Lumineers.
For those who might be interested, the cover art features silent film star Theda Bara. Her femme fatale roles cemented her place as one of the earliest sex symbols in cinema. She made over 40 films, her most famous being Cleopatra (Bara is also featured on the cover of the Lumineers’ new album of the same name). Unfortunately, all but six of her films were destroyed in a fire in the 1930s, including Cleopatra.