The Lumineers Look to Their “BRIGHTSIDE”

A Review on the Lumineers thriving album, the “BRIGHTSIDE”


Josephine Hall, Staff Writer

  In the rising album “BRIGHTSIDE” by The Lumineers, there is an eloquent depiction of balance between pain, trauma, and hope. “BRIGHTSIDE” was released on January 14th, 2022, in a time when the world was looking for optimism in a dark array of hopelessness. Introducing the album is the first track “BRIGHTSIDE,” which starts with a fast tone that sets the pace for the album perfectly. “Every word was like smoke from a cigarette you were blowin’ in your hands… and the light in your eyes alone on the freeway.” This song reeks of young love and heartbreak . 

  The third song “WHERE WE ARE” was inspired by band member Wesley Shultz’s experience in a deadly car crash. In comments to the press he stated: “We flew off this highway going 70 miles an hour… We were lucky to be alive.” Later adding: “In an instant, you’re left to pick up the pieces. It’s like we’ve all been in a collective instance, car crash together, the last 18 months…” Shultz connects his traumatic experience to the isolation, confusion, and fear during times of COVID. The song is sad yet comforting. It embodies this sense of fragility and relays a message that anything can be taken away in an instant. 

  The sixth track, “NEVER REALLY MINE” is the most tragic and soulful. The verses are loud and the hook is subdued. In the most powerful lyric, band member Jeremiah Fraites communicates how love and time don’t cooperate, and your love for someone can be everlasting but time with that person is not. “Love was not designed for time, you were never really mine.” 

  In an interview with Fraites, he revealed that “NEVER REALLY MINE” is actually about his brother’s addiction to heroin and his death. On a podcast, Fraites says: “The grief was so intense and so immense and just relentless and just infinite…Putting yourself in a position to take that very, very strong, high potent emotion and turn it into something beautiful… in some weird way I guess I’m thankful for that.” Fraites expresses his grief and pain into “NEVER REALLY MINE,” creating something he can actually be grateful for.  

  The last song “REPRISE,” seals the album off perfectly. “I’m headed for the lights, I’m headed for the brightside, baby, tonight.” It adds this side of hope that the other songs seem to be desperately searching for. This album flows from start to end in a beautiful manner. It is a must listen to, and finds the positivity that the world needs so much right now without ignoring the suffering.