‘Talk’ album review

Image courtesy of The Lighthouse and The Whaler

album: Talk
artist: The Lighthouse and The Whaler
genre: rock & roll
release date: October 22, 2021
star rating: four out of five

review by Levi Yager

Why don’t we just talk it out like we used to? It’s one of many relationship-focused questions The Lighthouse and The Whaler posture in their latest album, Talk. “Don’t you let yourself be scared – read the writing on the walls. This is how we make our way back to when we could talk. Let’s talk,” sings Michael LoPresti in the title track.

This album is a vulnerable, hopeful inquiry into the experiences and feelings shared between people, bolstered by the powerful motivator of memories. The resulting themes are naturally somewhat restorative; there’s a permeating sense of longing to return to a certain place or time, often metaphorically. The band uses a variety of styles to fully realize this very relational record. It becomes quite obvious that they have no fear of combining sounds, even ones that may not be traditionally used together in rock songs. You get to hear plenty of electric guitars, acoustic guitars, synthesizers, different percussion instruments, piano, horns and strings. I love the creativity present.

My favorite song, by far, is “It Takes a Lot of Time.” One of the most somber cuts on Talk, it opens with just the chorus and gentle backing instrumentation that steadily adds layers – before heading into the verses with the full band. Its namesake is mentioned in the first line of the first verse: “It takes a lot of time to know you’re lost.” As a whole, the song is about coming to terms with truth and our distance from it. Musically, it’s a melodic masterpiece that settles into a slow, determined build. The ending then sees the song suddenly evaporate with just a handful of acoustic guitar strums. “It Takes a Lot of Time” is truly captivating.

On the other hand, songs like “Stay With Me,” “These Are The Days” and “Where You Go” bring some pep into the conversation. “Stay With Me” is an earnest, yet lighthearted plea for a lover to stick around, and it’s got an infectious rhythm section with inventive lead guitar work to boot. “These Are The Days” and “Where You Go” are evocative of The Lighthouse and The Whaler’s past works in many ways and are brimming with optimistic energy.

There’s a lot to talk about on this album – no pun intended. It’s a wonderful reminder of the people and events that make life memorable. Talk has moments of joy that share space with moments of heartbreak, and isn’t that true for the songs that are our own lives? I encourage you to throw on this record and see if you don’t relate to a more than a few of these tracks. The story of Talk is one that’s wholly human.

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