Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had a Dream That You Were Mine Review


What if The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend made a baby together?
Glassnote, 2016
Purchase: Amazon

7.6 / 10

Who knew the scientific experiment to combine The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend together would yield a positive result? Indeed, that is what happens on I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, the collaborative album between The Walkmen’s frontman Hamilton Leithauser and Vampire Weekend’s MVP Rostam Batmanglij. Is Batmanglij still with Vampire Weekend? Has that ever been settled – I know he said he’d be around but not officially a part of the band. Well, if he’s not part of future Vampire Weekend albums, he’s essentially taken the band’s multi-instrumental appeal with him. He already showcased his talents earlier this year producing a couple of Ra Ra Riot songs, “Water” and “I Need Your Light”, both of which were stand out tracks for the band. While Rostam’s work with Ra Ra Riot is quite modern, his collaboration with Leithauser celebrates an older sound, even dipping into doo-wop.

Perhaps, it’s Leithauser’s singing which dictates this direction, as his weathered voice has always given The Walkmen a more mature edge among their peers. On I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, songs like “Rough Going (I Won’t Let Up)”, “When The Truth Is…”, “You Ain’t That Young Kid”, and “A 1000 Times” could have all been plucked from a golden oldies radio channel. The closest the pair come to a more current song is “In A Black Out”, which is likely already burned into your brain via a cellphone commercial. Not sure if it’s because of the retro revival going on, but this album actually took some time for me to get into and actually enjoy. I wouldn’t declare it an immediate great album as some publications have declared it, but Leithauser and Batmanglij do pair quite well together. I’m hoping this is more than a one-off, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if this was just a jumping point for both musicians for their next projects.

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