US - Washington - Full Moon 136 - 10/26/07
Band Of Horses
Cease To Begin
Sub Pop / Tuba
Band Of Horses' debut album Everything All the Time released in March 2006, turned out to be one of last year's pleasant surprises, and made it to my top five Album of the Year-list. Now they have just released the follower, which also turns out to be very solid. In fact, even more solid than their first album.
Compared to Everything... they have turned down the reverb-button slightly on this one, which makes the comparisons to musical fellows My Morning Jacket less significant. Fortunately, this does not take away the enthusiasm in vocalist Ben Bridwell's voice, which still is one of the strengths of BOH. This also helps giving Cease To Begin an overall feeling of positiveness and good mood, even containing song titles like "Is there a Ghost" and "No One's Gonna love You".
It is difficult to find one particular musical highlight here, like "Funeral" from last year's album. Instead, Cease To Begin is a compilation of ten strong songs, each one able to stand on its own. I also think that they stand very good to each other - a good mix of more laid-back singalongs ("Marry Songs", Window Blues") and typical guitar-based indie-rock tunes ("Cigarettes, Wedding Bands"). One curiosity is the ode to a former, German-born NBA basketball player, and it is difficult to know if the choice of such a song title primarily is a tribute to an old sports favourite. Actually, this doesn't matter to me. "Detlef Schrempf" represents the quintessence of one of this year's best albums (so far), and also gives proof of a band which doesn't take themselves too seriously. The fact that the album is just about 35 minutes is another criteria for success, as far as I'm concerned. What else can you demand?
Copyright © 2007 Håvard Kløften