Track Review: The Walkmen, 'Heaven'

82 Billboard Rating

THE WALKMEN
"Heaven" (3:38)
Producer: Phil Ek
Writers: The Walkmen
Publisher: Chinatown Bus Music (ASCAP)
Fat Possum/Bella Union

"Heaven," the title track off the Walkmen's seventh album (out June 5 on Fat Possum/Bella Union), is free of the youthful detachment of the band's previous releases, harnessing their energy into a sweeping, more mature arrangement. Combining jangly guitars, throbbing two-chord bass and an engaging tambourine, "Heaven" works under a "less is more" theory while maintaining a certain level of arena aspirations. Frontman Hamilton Leithauser belts, "Remember/Remember/What we fight for," during a cinematic chorus that eventually feeds into the song's most memorable lyric: "Don't leave me now/You're my best friend/All of my life/You've always been." The Walkmen somehow manage to make desperation empowering on "Heaven," and following the group's critically acclaimed 2010 album Lisbon, its latest single boasts of a newfound paternal energy.

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