Posted by: will | December 10, 2007

Music Review – Band Of Horses


Band Of Horses “Cease To Begin” (Sub Pop)


A great deal has changed since the release of Band Of Horses debut album, Everything All The Time in early 2006. Co-founder Mat Brooke left the band in the summer of 2006. After a great deal of touring backing the album, lead man Ben Bridwell decided to move the band home to his native South Carolina. With the change of locale and the songwriting squarely on Bridwell’s shoulders, it came as a surprise that the band had readied a new album so quickly.

Cease To Begin quickly puts any ideas of a sophomore slump out to pasture. The driving opening track, “Is There A Ghost,” is truly intoxicating. The lyrics of I could sleep/When I lived alone/Is there a ghost in my house? are haunting as Bridwell repeats the refrain over and over. The song is a sign of things to come on Cease To Begin. The change in personnel and location seems to have pushed the band into a more straight forward approach. Bridwell’s vocals continue to be drenched in wonderful reverb and it adds a certain longing to his voice. His lyrics remain incredibly charming as he seemingly takes comfort in the insignificance of us all. The album ends with the beautiful “Window Blues” and the simple strumming of a banjo carries the album out. It is an appropriate finale as Cease To Begin revels in a beautiful simplicity.

Cease To Begin sounds natural, comfortable and alive with spirit. Bridwell flourishes as the main songwriter here and the change in locale only magnifies the band’s strengths. The album shows off a subtle, but impressive maturation for Band Of Horses. Cease to Begin is a fascinating journey and one you will long to take repeatedly.

Genre: Indie/Rock

RIYL: My Morning Jacket, Built To Spill, Iron & Wine

Is There A Ghost (mp3)

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  1. Biggest disappointment of 2007.

  2. Ouch! If you liked the first record, what is not to like about Cease To Begin? Just curious.

  3. the fact that it hits nowhere nearly as hard as EATT. huge disappointment. EATT was hook after hook of reverb ladled on top of mashed awesome. CTB was a little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of “eh.”

  4. I disagree…in fact I’d say CTB is even catchier.

  5. then you’re a fool. a fool with a foolish point of view. or you just have bad taste in musak.

  6. Excellent point! I think EATT is the better record. It’s more cohesive and stronger overall. But, I don’t see the hate for CTB…it’s a solid sophomore effort.

  7. it was just a disappointment. there are many personal and idealogical disappointments for me concerning this band. i understand the music going in another direction. can’t recreate EATT note for note, but i don’t really like it as much. a few songs, sure. it’s more the way the band is handling themselves that i’m having the tummy ache with and it’s tainted my overall opinion.

  8. and the REAL truth comes out…if you don’t like who the band is licensing their songs to just say it man.

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