PEYTON MEISNER, STAFF WRITER
The Lumineers broke into the mainstream in 2012 with the smash hit, “Ho Hey.”
Since then, the band has released two platinum albums and have been nominated for two Grammy Awards.
With a third album, “III,” the band moved into new territories of sound and vision. The 10-track concept album is broken into three parts and tells the story of three generations of
the fictional Sparks family.
The album deals with the destruction of addiction, something that has affected band members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. Fraite’s brother and Schultz’s best friend Josh Fraites died of a drug overdose in 2002.
The first chapter of the album focuses on the character Gloria Sparks. Sparks was inspired by one of Schultz’s family members whose drug addiction led to homelessness. This chapter consists of three songs, “Donna,” “Life in the City” and “Gloria.”
The latter is the lead single on the album and spent five weeks at the No. 1 spot on alternative rock radio. The second chapter focuses on Gloria’s grandson, Junior Sparks. Songs on the second chapter include “It Wasn’t Easy to be Happy For You,” “Leader of the Landslide” and “Left For Denver.”
The final chapter revolves around Gloria’s son, Jimmy, in the songs “My Cell,” “Jimmy Sparks,” “April” and “Salt and the Sea.” With “III” The Lumineers continue a string of quality albums. After the departure of their cellist and additional vocalist Neyla Pekarek in 2018, the band has a sound much different than the previous two albums.
This includes taking a more cinematic approach, along with diversion from their usual stomp and clap folk sound.
The album is deep, emotional, and full of great lyrics. The Lumineers pull off the new sound and the concept album and leave fans with some of their best work to date.