Band of Horses: Cease to Begin (SubPop) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

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Band of Horses: Is There a Ghost
Band of Horses: Cease to Begin (SubPop) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Increasingly I am liking contemporary rock albums that annoy me because I can't quickly figure them out -- and this is one of them.

Not having heard their "critically acclaimed" debut Everything All The Time I can't say how much this Seattle-based band have changed since they lost their co-founder.

But what I hear on this album is often irritating (like that twerp from Supertramp fronting the brilliant Explosions in the Sky, see tag), engaging (lovely lyrics which are like Wilco's Jeff Tweedy at his most direct and simple), and songs that are instantly memorable, if not always for the right reasons.

So out of that mish-mash of encounters with this album over the past three months I have come to the obvious conclusion: I wouldn't just keep playing it if I didn't like it.

The opener soars into the clouds but songs like Detlef Schrempf (the name of some basketball player I believe) have a languor that is closer to pop-conscious alt.country and early REM than anything else.

There is real heart in many of these songs -- loss of love and innocence, finding love and comfort --- and that gets them over that Supertramp hurdle. Oh, and they do good stupid pop that wouldn't have disgraced a Monkees albums either.

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