Has it really been 13 years since the last Harry and the Potters album? Apparently it has. Since then the film series came to an end and The Cursed Child opened and closed in both the West End and Broadway. Now Joe and Paul DeGeorge have donned their school ties and robes again for another jaunt into the Potterverse with ‘Lumos’. As with all their albums, which are inspired either by individual or collections of the original JK Rowling novels, ‘Lumos’ is inspired by the seventh novel and final novel in the series ‘The Deathly Hollows’.
The album gets off to a brisk start as the DeGeorge’s harmonise over catchy guitars and bass, bringing to mind a mellower, lo-fi Weezer. As the album progresses the Potter references become more pronounced with tracks likes ‘You’re Not the Wizard’, ‘Good Riddance (Privet Drive)’, ‘Hermione’s Army’ and ‘The Banality of Evil (Song for Albert Runcorn)’. The stand out track is ‘Where’s Ron?’ which features guest vocals by Kimya Dawson, as Hermione. Lyrically it is about when Harry, Hermione and Ron were on the road and Ron got the hump and left for a bit which the line “Nothings gonna happen, I don’t think of you that way. We aren’t doing anything wrong, But no one’s asking where the hell is Ron?” perfectly getting the emotion of what happens when two friends are alone in a tent. The inclusion of Dawson is inspired as her vocals juxtapose the DeGeorge’s giving the music a dynamic that was previous missing.
‘Lumos’ is full of catchy songs with slightly infectious sing-a-long choruses. At times it feels like the cast recording for a Harry Potter musical, but this is also the downside. The concept of a Harry Potter band, that sings about the Potterverse and everything in it is as engaging and interesting as the opening few songs. You are swept up with it and the jokes/songs are clever and inventive, but after this opening salvo you come to the realisation that this is it. There is no divergence in themes. Everything is Potter related. Effectively it’s Potterdom or nothing. To dedicated fans this will be a musical high water mark of the year, for the rest of us causal fans, and muggles, the joke wears thin as quickly as a pair of Quidditch gloves.