Julia Hanson, A&E Editor

When I was in third grade I unwrapped a gift from my older brother on Christmas to uncover an iPhone box. Filled with disbelief and excitement, I opened the box and found a Hershey’s Kiss instead of the new iPhone. For a third-grader, a cell phone was ultimately cool and so naturally, I was devastated. Listening to “BRIGHTSIDE” by The Lumineers for the first time elicited a similar feeling for me. 

My friends and I are huge fans of The Lumineers and counted down the days till Jan. 13. When that day finally came, I almost wished it hadn’t. Ignorance is bliss, and so are my unknowing expectations of “BRIGHTSIDE”. These songs were supposed to be the next road trip anthems, this summer’s beach songs, and forever favorites. Disappointingly, “BRIGHTSIDE” is already the flop of 2022. 

“BIG SHOT” and “A.M. RADIO” were released Oct. 13, 2021, and for me, was just a taste of the album I was bound to love. Instead, these songs are the best, and arguably the only great songs on the album. However, there is something to be said for these two songs. “A.M. RADIO” especially, evokes the emotion The Lumineers are known for. “And all this time you said to me, my love would never die”. Despite how painful these lyrics are, listeners want to be the granola couple, listening to acoustic music in the pacific northwest– heartbreak and all. 

A friend of mine once said that she liked The Lumineers but thought that the lead singer, Wesley Schultz, had an annoying voice. Although his voice reaches high pitches, I never fully knew what she meant. Now, however, if I hear Schultz’s voice singing “It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s your birthday dear,” in “BIRTHDAY” one more time, I’ll find a new favorite band. It is not alright, Wesley, it’s actually quite piercing. 

In the past, The Lumineers have been incredible. Their albums were the type where you fell in love with every song, and if you’re lucky, you fell in love to the songs. I’m so critical of “BRIGHTSIDE” because I expected so much, and know the band is capable of creating world peace with their music. This time, however, they’re just average. I’ll continue to enjoy a couple of these songs like “ROLLERCOASTER”, but I’ll pass on the rest. There is a bright side to this album, but it was also as disappointing as a Hershey’s Kiss in an iPhone box.