REVIEWED: The Lone Bellow – “The Lone Bellow”

The Lone BellowStuff You Like
By Matt

Jon Acuff can stop writing his blog. I mean it! I just found the most Stuff Christians Like thing ever. Imagine if NEEDTOBREATHE was less Kings of Leon and more Civil Wars and a little more Lady Antebellum. See? You’re on board already, you coffee-shop-frequenting, Biblical-word-in-the-original-Greek-or-Hebrew-tattoo-having rascal, you.

Oh you. What are we going to do with you (after you get back from your benefit concert)?

Well, for starters, we’re going to introduce you to The Lone Bellow. Have you heard of these guys?

OH MAN LET’S GET INTENTIONAL WITH THIS MUSIC. Those harmonies are so airtight! Those steel guitar accents are so great! Those song titles – “You Never Need Nobody,” “You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional,” and “You Don’t Love Me Like You Used To” are so… concerning? That girl probably isn’t for you, man!

Big Bellow

But I’m being unfair, because the band’s self-titled debut is very good. I am writing about it, after all. And, yes, like any Christiany hipstery band worth their salt of the earth these days, they do have great harmonies. And there’s that whole throwback-to-basics aesthetic that we all looooooooove, so they have that going for them.

Shoot. I’m being snarky again.

I’ll be straightforward. I love this album! I really do. These guys (and gal) have a lot going for them. They have incredible voices, and they know how to write a beautiful song.

But.

Goodness it’s derivative.

Again, I love this album. I love it so much. I have listened to it, like, 15 times. And it just came out yesterday. I will continue to listen to it. Because I love it. I can’t stress that enough. But it just feels like the best possible amalgamation of a lot of things I already like.

The Lone Bellow’s influences are worn so heavily on their vintage sleeves that they might as well just be the sleeves themselves. They could go by THE NEEDTOBELLUM ANTECIVIL BREATHEWARS and I wouldn’t bat an eye. There are even structural identicalities – it feels like every song has an emotionally exhausting build-to-the-top, at which point there’s a top-of-lungs harmonize-a-long. And then it starts all over again.

At the same time, they pull it off very, very, very well. They are super, super, super good at what they do. Their voices are incredible. Their songs are so, so, SO catchy. I wish I could make music a tenth as good as these guys. Really.

It’s a no-brainer that The Lone Bellow is going to have fans. Everyone is going to love them. I love them. They will blow up. They might even be this year’s Lumineers. It will just be interesting to see how they grow as a band in the coming years; if they’re able to be the best Lone Bellow they can be, instead of a “best of” compilation of recent Christian hipster culture.

Score 7.5

Matt’s picks:
(2) Tree to Grow
(3) Two Sides of Lonely
(4) You Never Need Nobody
(7) Fire Red Horse
(8) Bleeding Out
(11) The One You Should’ve Let Go

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About mattneric

We like music.
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10 Responses to REVIEWED: The Lone Bellow – “The Lone Bellow”

  1. Claire says:

    Awesome! Hilarious opening by the way. I’m that person. Fully admitted. And Needtobreathe went to college with me. So, naturally, they’re the best, ever.

  2. tomcook11 says:

    hey guys thanks for checking us out at http://writingbareback.wordpress.com/
    and I don’t think I could agree with your overall review of The Lone Bellow album. It’s great. Every song sounds fantastic. But every song also has the same emotional harmony climax and a similar pattern. And I agree, I don’t think this brings anything necessarily NEW to the table. But it’s certainly a soulful blend of a lot of music I already dig.

  3. amyrob says:

    Thanks for the comment over at robinsmusicportal.wordpress.com ! (Shameless self-promotion). I definitely agree that while this album totally rocks, it is a bit derivative. On one handI think, what ISN’T derivative since the days of Leadbelly?? But these guys and the Lumineers do on occasion smack of unoriginality. Not always in a bad way, though, here in the autotune age…

  4. Ben Mathewson says:

    I love that you mentioned Jon Acuff. I actually go to the same church as him here in Nashville, and he’s spoken at my college a few times this year. Awesome review, you’re site is awesome 🙂

  5. Pingback: Matt’s SXSW Recap: Part 2 | mattneric

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