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Cease to Begin

Band of Horses

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iTunes Review

Co-founder Mat Brooke left the group, 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

Wow, now that there is just PURE BLISS!!!

Man, it's nearly 4:30 a.m., I just finished listening to my newest piece of pure digital Zen. I feel better than I have felt all day. Make that #'s of days. What a piece of bliss. Now that's what we're talkin' about when we call musicians artists. I feel like I just spent the last few hours completely relaxed, looking out over the great lake with the moon shining down on it, and my wife and I just entranced by the music; and the musicians just took that time painting the most beautiful landscape my eyes have ever seen. What a piece of poetry. Beautiful, beautiful art. Man, I feel like I'm still trying to shake off the trance of zeros and ones I'm just coming out of; I apologize, but I was certainly not expecting such an overwhelming feeling I was experiencing as I just sat back and listened. My eyes are beginning to well-up. I'm trying to shake this off a little so I can figure out what to write for my review of "Band of Horses;" and as I sit here proof-reading what I just wrote, I think my review has just been written. My suggestion regarding this new piece of artwork is that you just download the CD, sit back in your favorite, most comfortable place to sit. Push play and just let it play straight through. My review is this: ten strong stars, 10 beautiful songs.

Beautiful Mash-up

I hear a lot of great influences in this band, from The Grateful Dead (folky jams) to My Morning Jacket (haunting vocals) to Jane's Addiction (edgy rock). Hard to put my finger on it, but BoH is inspirational, emotional, textured, and beautiful. They defy definition. They have created a sound all of their own, but are rooted in the great rock tradition. It reminds us of everything we loved about our favorite bands. Country, Rock, Folk, Punk rolled up in a great new sound. "Is There a Ghost" immediately grabs you. "Marry Song" draws you in. Still on my first listen, but I am sold. Buy it. I dig these guys.

Short, but sweet and to the point

I was worried about the length of this album at first, but now I realize that sometimes less is more. Band of Horses makes beautiful indie music with no filler and plenty of emotion and depth in each song. You don't really need an additional few songs with an album that is put together so well. I like the atmosphere and the clever composition of the music; "Cease to Begin" works because the music and the vocals blend so well to create a unique, but listenable sound. Favorite Tracks: No One's Gonna Love You, Island On the Coast, Marry Song

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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