We can always count on the Lumineers to deliver all the vibes of 2 a.m. drives and summer night campfires. With the release of their newest album, Brightside, fans are brought back to reminisce on the beauty and complexity of love and life.
Starting off the album is “BRIGHTSIDE,” which was released as a single in 2021. “BRIGHTSIDE” embodies the feeling of endless love and all of its components. The music video portrayed multiple real and unfiltered love stories, drawing to the overall message of what makes love and relationships beautiful beneath the surface.
“And the light in your eyes
Alone on the freeway
I’ll be your brightside, baby, tonight”
The second track on the album is “A.M. RADIO.” An intimate song that glances into the complexities, and simultaneously, the simplicity of love and adoration. The repeated chord progression in the chorus delivers a feeling of complete fixation and endearment.
“Long, as you run
I couldn’t give you up”
“A.M. RADIO” is love despite potential and inevitable heartbreak.
Following this anthem of admiration is “WHERE WE ARE,” which explores feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in love. Juxtaposing the previous track, “WHERE WE ARE” explores this idea of being in love despite pain, and the difficulty of changing oneself to fit the expectations of those we love. It offers reflections on the past.
“Where we are, I don’t know where we are, but it will be okay,”
“WHERE WE ARE” is hopeless devotion.
Up next on the album is “BIRTHDAY.” This song again explores the complexity of love and the allure of finding moments of pain. The song tells the story of someone who gives all their love and attention to the person they love, even at the expense of loving themselves. It shows the positives of loving at all costs, but the negatives in neglecting their own needs to keep their loved one happy, and giving their all to someone who can’t give an ounce of themself.
“I can only scream so loud, but you ignored me
You picked it up — You picked it up all apart
And, now, there’s nothing for me”
Following “BIRTHDAY” is “BIG SHOT.” This song delves into the different layers of unrequited love. It shows the struggle of loving someone so deeply and always seeing the best in them, while also understanding that your idea of their best self will never become reality.
“And every song was out of key
And I was in the in-between
And you, still all alone,”
“BIG SHOT” is being in love while desperately looking for reason.
The following track, “NEVER REALLY MINE,” depicts a heartbreaking realization. The beginning of the song seems to be melancholy in nature, leading up to a climactic moment in the bridge where you can really sense the frustration of losing someone you did everything to keep.
“Everyone’s gonna leave it where you left
You’re a woman on the run, I’m the silence on the staircase.”
“NEVER REALLY MINE” is understanding that you cannot fix what is not within your control. It is frustration, realization, and immense heartbreak.
“ROLLERCOASTER” explores the deep pain and yearning for the idea of someone. It conveys the charm in love that cannot withstand time, showing the struggles of moving on from something and someone that you once believed to be your entire world and lifeline.
“I know what is what
I can feel the rust
I know you are already gone.
Everyone was wrong
They were on the ledge
Everyone was only dyin’ to live.”
“ROLLERCOASTER” is pain, desperation, and the fear of what is to come after them.
The penultimate track on the album is “REMINGTON.” This song shows the petrifying promise of a life after heartbreak, and pleads for the light to come in a time of complete and utter darkness and despair.
“Waitin’ on the sun
I’m waitin’ on the sun
I’m waitin’ on the sun tonight.”
“REMINGTON” is the terrifying nature of a future that is unknown.
Perhaps one of the best pieces of this album is the seamless transition between “REMINGTON” and “REPRISE.” “REPRISE” brings together the entire story–one of love, loss, desperation, understanding, and the inevitability of the brightside to come.
“Photographs don’t bring you back, no
Final chapter, ever after.”
Overall, BRIGHTSIDE conveyed an impactful and relatable experience. The album delivered the expected vibes of any Lumineers work, yet it also dug deep into the complexities of unrequited admiration and the beauty of love, loss, and all the little moments of life in between. The album really asks us what life is without love, and what love is without loss. Despite it all, there is always the promise of a brightside.