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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, ‘Man on Fire’ – Song Review

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Although released in 2009, ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros slowly built traction and became a hit in 2010. Its folksy vibe, complete with whistling and a singalong chorus, wound up in seemingly every commercial, TV show and movie trailer for an entire year. Now they’re back with a second album, ‘Here,’ on May 29, and the first single, ‘Man on Fire,’ has been released.

‘Man on Fire’ opens with a fingerpicked acoustic guitar and whole lot of reverb. Sharpe sings the chorus above ghostly worldless vocals. As you would expect from a 12-piece band, it doesn’t stay that way for long, and the track slowly builds as Sharpe sings of his desire to dance with the world.

However, the bridge reveals a catch. Sharpe acknowledges the universal need for safety, love and comfort, except for him. Sharpe, whose real name is Alex Ebert, is playing a variation of a role known to all fans of Smokey Robinson and Leoncavallo’s opera ‘I Pagliacci,’ the sad clown.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes without some weird, freaky stuff going on. Just as the jug-band vibe gets going after the second chorus, ‘Man on Fire’ takes a 40-second psychedelic detour before returning to the verse.

While it lacks ‘Home’s’  joyous, redemptive warmth, ‘Man on Fire’ is a worthy successor that will give their fans much to look forward to when ‘Here’ is released.

Listen to ‘Man on Fire’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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6 out of 10 rating


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