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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, ‘That’s What’s Up’ – Song Review

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Vagrant Records

On May 29, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will put out their second album, ‘Here’ on Community Music / Vagrant Records. A few weeks ago, they released the first single, ‘Man on Fire.’ The second single from ‘Here,’ called ‘That’s What’s Up,’ is now streaming via SoundCloud.

The song brings Jade Castrinos, whose counterpoint vocals helped make ‘Home’ such a big hit in 2010, into the fore after seeing a limited role on ‘Man on Fire.’ She and Sharpe share lead vocals on ‘That’s What’s Up,’ a love song that clearly tries to replicate ‘Home’s’ success, but ultimately falls flat.

I’ll be the church / You be the steeple / You be the king / I’ll be the people,’ they begin, proving that, as on ‘Home,’ there’s no folksy cliche Sharpe won’t use. But at least there’s no mention of Ma and Pa and pumpkin pie on this one. A clavinet, which is presumably designed to evoke the Band‘s ‘Up On Cripple Creek’ but sounds more like an incontinent bullfrog, bleats away.

Where much of ‘Home’s’ strength came from the chemistry the two of them displayed, here it sounds forced. This may be the result of the production decision to split their voices hard left and right, but that blend isn’t there. Also, some of Castrinos’ voice is also way too high in the mix in the chorus for the harmony notes she’s singing.

As a result, you never get the sense that they are feeling the love they’re singing about. They should be placed on a binge diet of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris until they get it right.

Listen to ‘That’s What’s Up’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

3 out of 10 rating

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