Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Here

Dan Hyman

By Dan Hyman

on 05.24.12 in Reviews
Jingly jams with substance

It’d have been easier to dismiss Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros as another flash-in-the-pan, overhyped indie act — destined to overstay their welcome on the festival circuit and flame out into nonexistence. After all, they appeared to be blatantly contrived: Frontman Alex Ebert, the former mouthpiece of millennial punk flameouts Ima Robot, was now reincarnated as Edward Sharpe, the free-spirited, love-for-all shaman for this gaggle of Laurel Canyon troubadours. But with Here, the folk-pop crew proves their staying power, burning far longer than that stick of Nag Champa from undergrad. There’s substance to these jingly jams, and Sharpe — along with charming contributory turns from vocalist Jade Castrinos — leads the charge: whether via honky-tonk chug (“Man on Fire”), minstrelsy medicine-show mayhem (“That’s What’s Up”), ’70s AM-soul (“All Wash Out”) or even reggae (“One Love to Another”), there’s an unrequited love for melody no flimsy backstory could deny.