Band of Horses have always been that band you turn to and need that perfect song if you find yourself in a soap opera and figure out your ex was having an affair with one of the nurses in the supply closet while you were performing life saving brain surgery. Seriously. Dramatic, yet predictable, plot twists.
Cease to Begin is still an album that I frequently go back to. Mainly because it is one of those releases where everything on it came together seamlessly. No matter what Band of Horses release in the future, nothing will compare to Cease to Begin. Their eccentric lyrics and sometimes abstract subject material were at their best on that album and never at one point felt forced.
Enough about the past though, Band of Horses is back this year with a brand new album titled, Why Are You OK. Even though I was mostly “meh” about their last two releases (Infinite Arms, Mirage Rock), I do consider myself a fan and so I am always up for a listen.
Why Are You OK starts off exactly how you’d expect a Band of Horses album to start; a typical three chord progression. In fact I would be almost willing to put money on the fact that it’s the same chord progression as at least two or three of their other songs (and that may be low-balling it). With that said, they do tend to stick to what they know people will like. And although I am being somewhat critical right now, I am one of those people most of the time. The album does start to speed things up though as it goes on, which is nice for a change.
As I mentioned earlier though, where Cease to Begin’s eccentric qualities never felt forced, some of the offbeat lyrics on Why Are You OK feel just a little awkward. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s a bad thing. For instance “Casual Party”, although melodically sound and potentially poignant, feels as uncomfortable as the story itself. This sort of trend continues with “In A Drawer”.
Overall though, there are some great tracks off of Why Are You OK as well. “Lying Under Oak”, “Country Teen” and “Even Still” provide a lovely ending to the album and are vintage Band of Horses.
Pick up Why Are You OK by Band of Horses on iTunes now.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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