lll, The Lumineers 3rd Studio Album Has A Serious Hidden Meaning


Ben Ogles, (12) picks himself up a copy of The Lumineers new album on vinyl.

River Herron, Staff Reporter

“lll,” Or “Three”, The Lumineers newest album is nothing short of magnificent. The follow up to the bands extremely popular 2016 album, “Cleopatra,” like always hits listeners right in their nostalgic hearts, imaginative heads, and everything in between. The band’s famous for their storytelling songs, ones that dig deep into the emotions of fans while still maintaining stardom status, reaching top charts album after album. “I’ve been a Lumineers fan for a long time now, their one of those bands I just can’t seem to quit listening to, with every album they draw me right back in,” Caleb Childers (12) says. Their 2012 self titled outbreak album, “The Lumineers” is a lightly produced masterpiece. With nothing but guitars, a piano, and a few more string instruments, lead singer Wesley Schultz’s voice sees countless moments of isolation and it works well with the folk aura the album surrounds itself in. After “Cleopatra,” the groups most emotionally driven album, which focused on stories of love and women, no one expected the 2013 Best New Artist nominee group to take a stance like this.

The album tells of addiction passing through 3 generations of “The Sparks Family,” a fictional family based on real relations the band members had to addicts. “Three” does a great job of being an extremely vicarious album, making listeners feel as if they are in the story being told even when they have no real-life connections while for others “Three” can sound so familiar it gives listeners goosebumps. Addiction can be a platform of relation for people who are friends or family members of an addict. Despite what the addict is actually addicted to, situations can sound familiar to the ear of one who’s grown up around an addict their entire lives. 

The first generation starts out with an alcoholic woman named Gloria Sparks, and jumps from different perspectives viewing her addiction. The song tells stories about her acts of alcoholism from the eyes of her children, and even through the eyes of Gloria herself. The next generation, a continuation of the Sparks family, tells a tale of Jimmy Sparks, Gloria’s son. Jimmy, working as a prison guard and dealing with an alcohol addiction, made minimum wage and was left alone with a baby after the mother left. One night Jimmy took his son to a casino to earn money so he could pay his bills, while driving home around 3 am the two see a hitchhiker, Jimmy tells his son (who is now now a young child) to never pick up hitchhikers. The story then fast forwards 20 years and Jimmy’s son is driving around 3 am when he sees a homeless man with no shoes in the snow sticking his thumb out and ignores him, and it is said that that homeless man was Jimmy Sparks.