III: A Story of Heartbreak and Addiction

Bella Coulter, Staff Writer

By Bella Coulter

After over three years of waiting, Lumineers fans have finally been gifted with a third album, fittingly titled III. In typical Lumineers fashion, this album is filled with thoughtful and intentional lyrics, accompanied by soft piano and soothing guitar strums. They also use this album to continue their tradition of commenting about the struggles with addiction, using the lead singer’s own family member as inspiration. 

The band structures their songs around the story of a family: Gloria Sparks, her son Jimmy Sparks, and his son Junior Sparks. They follow this family’s struggle with addiction and how it molds their lives and future generations. Gloria is an alcoholic, as explored through the songs “Donna” and “Gloria” and Jimmy is addicted to gambling, as explored through “Jimmy Sparks.” The songs comment on the tragedies and destructive nature of different types of addiction, which allows the band to connect with so many people.

The album starts off with “Donna,” which begins the crushing account of a woman suffering with addiction to alcohol that consumes her life, the lyrics saying that she “couldn’t sober up to hold a baby” which happened to be her grandson, Junior. The thoughtful lyrics intertwine with beautiful with the somber piano notes, adding to the reflective nature of this song.

The next song, “Life in the City,” is a little more optimistic about the future, and chooses to focus on the happier times in people’s lives when they lived a carefree life in the city. The upbeat drums and piano paint a youthful scene of life in the city, which the narrator seems to wish they could go back to.

The third song, “Gloria,” keeps the same happy tune of “Life in the City,” but upon closer examination of the lyrics, contains a very dark look at Gloria’s addiction issues. Throughout the song, Gloria’s deterioration becomes evident, as the narrator sings, “Gloria, no one said enough is enough,” implying that she didn’t know when to stop before her addiction destroyed her. 

The album continues in groupings of three, with more intelligent comments on the destructive nature of addiction. Fans can expect the perfect mix of upbeat and melancholy melodies, with lyrics applying to serious problems hidden in everyone’s lives. The Lumineers aimed to bring more attention to addiction and its challenges for everyone surrounding the victim, and have once again accomplished it beautifully.