The Walkmen: Heaven

Walkmen, HeavenThe Walkmen: Heaven
Dear Walkmen:

I know you’re going to think I’m a coward for doing this in a note instead of face to face, but you’ve got to understand this is just as painful for me as it’s going to be for you… so forgive me but I think we both know this has been a long time coming. I think over our time together and so many good memories surface. Remember how we first met? It was so romantic, and we were so young! You were just another nothing kid, talking all big about NYC in ought three as if the town’d been the least bit interesting in the last twenty years, all fresh out of school and bumming around looking for an audience. I didn’t expect much from you initially. Sure, you were dashing, full of fire, and even when you were singing sad songs you played with a conviction few possessed. In short, you had passion. You really did. And it brings a smile to my face just thinking about how easily you seduced me. You used to be dangerous, you’d tell me things like Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone, or, “I’m Never Bored,” always rapping at me to “Wake Up!” in paranoid ranting and inspired neurosis. Those must have been the good old days, because we were both so miserable.
No one was much interested in you back then, but I thought you were genius. The sound was both dynamic and simple. Before anyone even claimed to listen to you, they began stealing that whole retro instrument sound. It seemed like there was no direction you couldn’t go. After releasing Bows and Arrows, the response was equally strange and wonderful. Sure there was hype, but it provided you financial and critical success while at the same time garnering the respect of your peers. The world became our oyster, and one with a pearl…
It was a whirlwind romance and you took us all over the globe. After a short stay in “Louisiana,” you became fascinated with the south. Though everyone thought it a crazy idea, the trip to Mexico for You & Me, worked in so many ways. It was so cute how you only knew four words of Spanish, “Donde est le playa?” But again you made it work. You might have been a little slower, but everyone chalked it up to the cooling of temperament that comes hand in hand with maturity. I noticed the change in you, but I guess I didn’t want to ruin a good thing.
In the beginning, it seemed like you made music because you hated the music everyone else was playing. You used to play to spite everyone around you, but after Mexico it began to become clear you were focusing more on your career and less on us.
So, we’d been together a decade. Who wouldn’t expect a relationship to flounder? And though a lot of the romance was gone, expectations dampened after you became worldly and aloof, I still believed in you. After-all, you promised me Heaven.
I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, and half way thinking it would be comparable to that nice couple we know, Belle and Sebastian when they had Dear Catastrophe Waitress. You know? An ambitious reworking of established sound. But instead you delivered a grouping of uninspired sentimental walk-throughs. I can’t forgive you for that. I didn’t expect an industry changer, but I cannot accept mediocrity. Not with our past.
And I know what you’re going to think. You’re going to think The Head and the Heart have something to do with it, you’re going to think I’ve been seeing The Cold War Kids. You always were the jealous sort, but the truth is I haven’t been seeing anyone. I just think it’d be better for us to create some distance. I still love you, but I can’t honestly say that I’m in love with you after Heaven.
You’ve changed. I’m not assigning blame here, but I think you’ve gotten too comfortable with all the success. And I think you’ve taken me for granted with Heaven.
I wish the best for you, I really do. But this is the end for us. We’re breaking up.

Guilessly,

-Ray

Rating: 3.5/10
MP3: The Walkmen “Southern Heart”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl