Review | Band of Horses - Mirage Rock

Listen >> Band of Horses – Knock Knock

[T]wo years after their breakout album Infinite Arms, South Carolina (by way of Seattle) boys Band of Horses let loose the highly anticipated Mirage Rock, their second with Columbia Records. This is also the second time around with the current lineup and the new album benefits from the kinship that comes with a steady, comfortable band.

The first single “Knock Knock” is also the first track on Mirage Rock and lets the listener know that they are in for a slightly more rocking version of Band of Horses than they might be used to. Earlier this summer the band teased fans with a preview clip featuring another rocking number titled “Dumpster World,” a song about Western culture and the modern world that starts off slowly and kicks into high gear midway through the song.  BoH is letting their fans know there are more musical layers to be found under that laid back, countryside sound. Every track features the beautiful harmonies and musical arrangements that have come to define the band. On “How to Live” singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell acknowledges that life is what make you it and to take responsibility of your actions before it’s too late, ending with the great lyric “Guess what/You’re getting old/You still gotta grow up.” A line most of us can relate to. One of my favorite tracks is the up-tempo, Band of Horses meets Rolling Stones, “Electric Music.” It is the kind of song that makes you want to buy a pickup truck, roll down the window and speed down a long country road. If you’re looking for bittersweet love songs to break your heart you’ll find them in the album’s closing tracks “Long Vows” and “Heartbreak on the 101,” with the latter containing some of the saddest lyrics I’ve heard in a good long time. An interesting, yet successful way, to end such an upbeat album.

Mirage Rock is the music of a band updating and redefining their style while not entirely altering the blueprints. Putting a doorstop on the ever-revolving lineup has provided the group time to understand each member’s role in interpreting the Band of Horses tone and will hopefully influence further development of sound for years to come.

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