When Band of Horses released Cease to Begin a few years back I was one of the few who wasn’t over the top in love with it. I recognized there was talent there, but I wasn’t too keen on the album as a whole. It was too ethereal to me, it was like a dream sequence in the Sopranos, where you recognize the overall product is great as a whole, but this particular effort was not. When Mirage Rock was released September 18, I was a bit reluctant to review it, but then I heard a few songs and decided to give it a listen. It is a stark departure from Cease to Begin. Realistically, this could have come from two different bands and I would have been none the wiser. Even lead singer, Ben Bridwell, sounds different.
This album has more of a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young feel to it; more of a folk rock, harmonious vocal atmosphere than that of previous ventures. “Long Vows” has a distinct Eagles feel, maybe even Poco, but definitely something with Timothy B. Schmidt. Basically, if you are a fan of ‘70’s rock in all of its forms (minus disco, which I tend to not acknowledge as a real thing akin to dubstep) then you will adore this album as much as I do.
Best Song: Dumpster World – The most CSNY sounding track on the album. It is rich with harmony and that folk sound that was so prevalent in the ‘70’s. What I like about this song is that when you’re just starting to get into that mellow vibe that you get from songs that sound like you should be high to listen to them it kick starts into a guitar laden chorus transition that throws you for a loop. This is the type of music this band should be making.
Band of Horses are on tour currently and are about to start the Railroad Revival tour in support of Willie Nelson in a couple weeks.
The Glyn Johns’ produced Mirage Rock can be acquired here.