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Review: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros bring smiles to listeners with ‘Here’

Coming three years after its debut album “Up From Below,” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released its gospel-inspired, bluegrass-rhythmed album “Here” just in time for summer. Filled with hippie chants and cheerful melodies, “Here” is sure to bring a smile to all who listen.

From traditional Americana rhythms to tribal beats, “Here” takes inspiration from all parts of the world. Songs such as “Mayla” will bring you right out of your seat and into the plains of Africa with its “Lion King”-esque sound. Others, such as the freedom anthem “Man on Fire,” take influence from pure-American folk.

While many tracks from the band’s sophomore album are sure to fare well with fans of the genre, none compare to the foot-stomping catchiness of Edward Sharpe’s 2009 hit “Home.” Much like the band’s more than 10-person ensemble, songs on the latest album work harmoniously. No single track pushes to the forefront.

In “Man on Fire,” the band revels in unadulterated happiness, singing “I want the whole damn world to come and dance with me.” The song, the album’s first single, has many of the needed elements for a perfect summer hit, but just misses the mark. Though heartwarming and giving a foot-tapping vibe, it ultimately lacks the pop center that made “Home” so memorable.

Another smile-fueled single, “That’s What’s Up,” comes even closer to summertime perfection with its sweet-sung duet and whistled vocals. The group sings, “Hey / Hey Love / We’ve been best friends forever darling / That’s what’s up.”

Though never building to the high expectations set by its debut album “Home,” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros give audiences of almost all backgrounds a reason to sing with “Here.”

Grade: B+

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