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Cease to Begin

Band of Horses

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iTunes Review

Co-founder Mat Brooke left, so singer Ben Bridwell relocated the group from Seattle to South Carolina for a second album that immediately improves on Everything All The Time, the band’s 2006 debut. 2007’s Cease to Begin is a melodic treasure. The tight country harmonies of “Marry Song,” the swooning ‘60s-to-‘90s shoegazer pop of “No One’s Gonna Love You” and the ominous, haunting anthemic riff of the album’s opener “Is There A Ghost” illustrate the group’s far-reaching range. Everything is pulled off without sacrificing their signature sound, which centers around a shimmering wall of guitar and vocals that find comfort bathed in swatches of reverb where Bridwell’s clear, clean tone resonates into the night sky. Their pop sense puts them in league with labelmates The Shins. “Ode to LRC” and “The General Specific” reflect an earnest pop whimsy, while “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands” aims for a wall of sound that only Bridwell can scale with his loud, commanding howl. By the album’s closer, “Window Blues,” Bridwell slows things to a gorgeous lope that politely closes out a strong showing of songwriting smarts and musical variety and firepower.

Customer Reviews

Much better this time.

Band of Horses' 'Everything All The Time' had a few awe inspiring tracks('The Funeral'), but the rest was just filler really. 'Cease to Begin' is a triumph. I didn't know what to expect from it but they have went back to their country roots and it seems a much more natural effort. This is what country music would sound like if it was written by angels, and with vocals reminiscent of Wayne Coyne and My Morning Jacket's Jim James, it's hard not to get lost in this album. Favourite track has to be opener 'Is There a Ghost' it sets the benchmark for an extremely good album. Much better second time round for Band of Horses.

Lovely album but here is a suggestion..

I agree with most of the other reviews. The album is pretty and mellow and a pleasure to listen to, however I don't feel enough emphasis is placed on my personal favourite track.... "The General Specific"... I really like this song and no-one has really mentioned it, so I thought I should! It's a fabulous song and you can really hear the country roots of the group.. So in addition to the other popular tracks from this album, this would be another good one to choose.

A gem

Guys at work pointed me in the direction of band of horses, I was expecting some generic jangly indie record and was blown away when I heard it. Its a beautiful record and really pulls on the emotions on a couple of tracks without being overy syruppy. Unfortunately I missed them play the UK in Feb, but hear that they are awesome live. Shall keep fingers crossed they come back soon. I know it was released last year but its my record of the year 2008 so far.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Emerging in 2004 with a blend of woodsy midtempo rock and reverb-laden vocals, Band of Horses gained an audience in their native Northwest before Everything All the Time made them indie rock darlings. Multi-instrumentalists Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke founded the group after an eight-year run with Carissa's Wierd, and an early concert alongside future labelmates Iron & Wine caught the attention of Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop signed Band of Horses in 2005 and reissued their self-released EP later...
Full bio
Cease to Begin, Band of Horses
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