Two years have passed since Band of Horses released their third album “Infinite Arms” in 2010. Fans have been waiting with baited breath to hear what the Seattle band has in store for them with their latest album. “Mirage Rock” was released on Sept. 18, and the fans’ reactions were definitely mixed. The tracks may seem a little rough around the edges and course to some listeners, but the magical voice, lyrics and instruments are pristine, as always.
The album’s opening song “Knock, Knock” was uploaded to the band’s YouTube account about two months ago as a teaser. This is a great opening to the album. It’s a mixture of everything for those fans that have been around since the beginning. Band of Horses still has their Neil Young like undertones, and slow melodic style. “Knock, Knock” might be a little repetitive at times, but it is definitely designed to get your feet tapping the floorboards. “Knock, Knock” has more of a rocky rhythm to it, which is different from what the die-hard fans want to hear.
The best song on the album by far is “Slow Cruel Hands of Time.” It not only brings back the sounds of previous albums but also is a remembrance to lead singer, Ben Bridwell’s past.
While the other tracks are more outgoing and energetic, “Slow Cruel Hands of Time” is slower and more thought provoking. This is the most charming song on the entire album.
Perhaps the band’s newer, more intense rocky sounds can be attributed to their new producer. Band of Horses coaxed Glyn Johns out of hiding in his retirement to work on them with “Mirage Rock.” The same Glyn John who worked with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Led Zepplin and so many other world-renowned bands. It is an understatement to say that this is a huge accomplishment for Band of Horses.
I understand that some people miss the consistency of the band’s older stuff, but I think the change was well needed. It gives people something to look forward to and something to grow with. This album is a piece of artwork. It is constructed with an enticing arrangement of instruments, sculpted with radiant lyrics and finally finished with a sublime and angelic voice. Singer/songwriter Ben Bridwell has remained true to his beautifully calming voice. He also continues to write deep, poetic and sincere lyrics. Every single song on the album has the ability to lull the listener to sleep, or pump them up for the day.