The Lumineers have made quite a name for themselves this year with “Ho Hey,” the folksy tune that first found a home in a Bing commercial and is now being played on top 40 stations across the country.
I admit it’s catchy. But it’s a terrible song. I have three major problems with this track:
1) The vibe of the song is Appalachia. Based on its instrumentation, you’d think “Hey Ho” is supposed to be a heartland song. But then Wesley Schultz starts singing about being at Bowery and Canal in Manhattan, the heart of New York City. WTF? That makes no sense.
2) Lyrical inconsistency. In the first verse, Schultz sings, “I don’t know where I belong,” but then seconds later, he sings, “I belong with you / You belong with me.” I thought he didn’t know where he belonged? He sure figured it out quickly.
3) Finally, and most importantly, “Ho Hey” is a blatant ripoff of “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. I honestly believe that the Lumineers sat down and said, “Hey, that song ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe… we need to write a song that sounds like that!” Much like Owl City’s “Fireflies” (a ripoff of the Postal Service),” Ho Hey” is so derivative that it’s impossible to take seriously.
Despite our objections, the song has shockingly reached the Top 10 on Billboard and the Lumineers are in the running for a few nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Americana Album.
The lyrics are such a bad fit for the music… they might as well be singing about camping or yoga or shark diving.
Watch the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”