First Listen Review: Band of Horses – “Why Are You Ok?”


The Good: This album smoothly plays sounding like it comes from the early days of Nu-Folk. Although it come across as if it were made in 2010 alongside early Mumford, Noah and the Whale, and others, the sound is still rather fresh. This is especially so with the grand opening song, a massive 7 minute intro that begins as a slower folk tune and becomes a larger rockier version later on. This is probably the best opener of the year this far. The guitars on here wash over the landscape like the waves of the sea during a sunset job, a perfect piece to go along with the album’s cover.
The guitar melodies on here are easy listens. Quickly getting stuck in the head. Especially on the second song “Solemn Oath”. Melodies in the vocal lines are nice too, such as song 3 “Hag”. The beginning of this album has nice variety, coming in on the fourth song “Casual Party” with a more rock induced track. Lyrically there is a lot here, definitely found on “In a Drawer” which begins as a lighter, more distantly recorded song, only to come in with a powerful chorus in which the whole band comes in expressing the excitement of finding old memories by mistake.

I have never really listened to Band of Horses, though I’ve known of their success and achievements in prior years. For myself, falling upon this album was a nice finding in a drawer. It brings back memories of a musical style popular a few years ago. It does it without sounding too washed out.

Instead, the sound of this album is one reminding me of quiet summers past, fishing or trailing through forests with friends.
The Bad: Somewhere within the middle of the album, I did lose interest. Hopefully as soon as this happens, another song comes on that peeks my enthusiasm again.

Would I Listen Again: Yes


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