Oct 15, 2007

Cease To Begin-Band Of Horses

Voices connect. Voices move us. Voices make us glow with kindness and affection. Which voices? Whose voices? Sometimes you can't describe it, you just know. Well know this, I love Ben Bridwell's voice. Its high, lilting refrains melt my core. If Band of Horses had a different singer, a lesser singer, they would still be good, but they would not separate themselves from the pack. Thankfully Mr. Bridwell's pipes are soft and gorgeous. Heartfelt and tender. Last year "Everything All The Time" was on high rotation for most of the year. If for only one reason. It made me feel good. Its majestic harmonies and captivating melodies were combined with jangling, foot stomping guitar chords. A winning combination. Now they return with the dreaded second album, "Cease To Begin". Will it change your life? No. But it will beguile and charm you and once again give you those warm and fuzzy feelings that good music delivers. Sometimes that's good enough isn't it? Well written songs with their hearts on their sleeves and their passion in the right place.

The eternally simple but oh so effective "Is There Is A Ghost" kicks things off and its simple repeated refrain will entice right through to its ecstatic end. My favourite track follows, the quite glittering "Ode to LRC", which is a beautifully sung song about small towns. Its oft repeated line "The World Is Such a Wonderful Place" will melt even the most cynical heart. It's delivered with not a hint of sarcasm and I think that is the key to this band. Their songs are quite simple in structure but there is an underlying charm and purity of heart that is hard to resist. There are some other grand ballads on show here. "No Ones Ever Gonna Love You" and "Marry Song" are both honest and sincere. There are also some up tempo numbers, that while they don't have the pure magnetism of a "Wicked Gil" or "Great Salt Lake", are still quite effective. Probably the best effort is "The General Specific". Although it probably doesn't hit quite the heights of their debut, "Cease To Begin" is a fine follow up. The combination of glorious vocals and jangling guitars still makes for a good recipe. If you taste It, I think you will find its charms enticing.

MP3: Is There A Ghost

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