One can easily imagine exhilarating cheers coming from an audience as “Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros” perform their new album “Live in no Particular Order.”
The album follows the band throughout a five year period (2009-2014) throughout various locations as they continue to cast a spell that keeps listeners avidly attending their shows and fanatically singing along to their music.
Since the album was recorded over the course of five years, it encompasses tracks from all three of their full length studio albums. The first track off the album is their optimistic, relatively upbeat track entitled “Better Days” in which frontman Alex Ebert croons “Try to remember, that you can’t forget/Down with history, up with your head/For sweet tomorrow, she never fell from grace/We might still know sorrow but we got better days."
This song is a solid choice to start off the album as it fully envelops the attitude of Ebert following his struggle with addiction. It sends a positive message while simultaneously representing the band, particularly its lead man, and what they’re all about.
A favorite song on the album is “Home”, the band’s most popular single. The song is a duet in which each verse alternates between the male lead and the female lead as they speak back and forth to each other proclaiming things such as “Holy moly me oh my/You’re the apple of/my eye/Girl, I’ve never loved one like you” to which the woman responds, “Man, oh, man, you’re my best friend/I scream it to the nothingness/There ain’t nothing that I need.” The two then harmonize on the chorus, sweetly “Home, let me come home/Home is wherever I’m with you.”
The format and chemistry between the two singers make this song in particular stand out among the rest. Furthermore, in this particular live version, there is a part in the middle where the performers allow audience members to tell a story as they do in the studio version.
They talk to several people, including a couple who scream out “I love Rick,” and “I love Kelly,” and another man who proclaims his love for the band and all they do, and tells a story of how he is there so that his brother can vicariously share in the experience. All around the performance is electric and heartfelt.
The bluegrass, folk style does begin to wear on the listener, however. After a while the songs all blend together. While an initial enjoyment can be felt at first, after being consistently exposed a steady combination of acoustic guitar, banjo and whistles, a listener can find themselves yearning for more diversity of style. Being that the album did include songs from all three of their albums, it could be assumed that eventually there would be more of a dynamic feel to the album, especially considering the songs are in no particular order as the title claims.
There are redeeming tracks such as “Home” which stands out from all the others and the songs are individually all lyrically strong; however as an album, especially a live album, it becomes a little redundant as some songs sharing a few of the same musical feature and instrument sounds such as a whistle like at the beginning of both “Home” and “If I Were Free.” The dreamy vibe produced by the band seems to cause the tracks to blend together as well, with tracks such as “Mayla” and “Truth” being examples of this. Similarly, the constant cheering, although exciting at first can become tiring, resulting in this album lacking something that all bands need: the ability to grow.