16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
OK...This is not like the first 3 albums...And, yes, that's OK.
I can agree with some of the reviews here. At first listen, this album does not strike that immediate, natural chord that all of us fans of the previous records were hoping to hear.
I went through the album in consecutive full-length listens. The first time through as I prepared dinner, and I pretty much shrugged it off as OK; the second, after eating, and reading along with the lyrics (something i very seldom do and/or enjoy doing). My opinion changed quickly. This album is good...it's real good. While they don't deliver as many memorable hooks as their previous endeavors, the song writing is incredible and lyrically potent. The songs are deep and meaningful and very well thought-out.
If you are a fan of the Avett Brothers, you could equate this release with their latest. Yes, produced for the ear of the masses, but produced incredibly well. You can tell BoH are very pleased with the outcome (see liner notes). They feel they created what they wanted, and i get it.
I, for one, am happy for them and what seems to be some success. Enjoy their earlier albums as they are, and stop expecting part II. There is lots of great music out there!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2012
I will start off by saying that the first single "Knock, Knock" off this new album did not get me too excited about the release of Mirage Rock. Something about the song just didn't click, it sounded kind of like a Steve Miller song (I like Steve Miller, but this is Band of Horses).
However, after listening to a few of the samples provided here on Amazon, I decided to give it a shot, and bought it.
I've listened to it through a few times now, and find the album very...okay (hints the three stars). I have greatly enjoyed the previous three albums from Band of Horses, Their first album really got my attention instantly, "Cease to Begin" blew me away when I first heard it, and "Infinte Arms" is a real pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Now we have "Mirage Rock", which I've listed to and decided it sounds more like a collection of B sides or outtakes.
What I mean by that is the songs are good enough, they just don't really stick with you. The album is in no way bad, it is Band of Horses after all, but, they've done so much better in the past. It's almost as if there really wasn't alot of material and they did what they could with what they had, and that's fine, it's always good to hear from these guys, but it's certainly not going to be my favorite from them.
A few of the songs are good for a couple of listens, like "Slow Cruel Hands of Time" is a very nice acoustic number, "Long Vows" and "Everythings gonna be undone" are straight from the 70's and prove to be rewarding songs, the former sounding very Neil Young'ish. From there though the other songs just seem to come and go, many times I found myself not realizing that I'd gone through three or four tracks already.
Again, I guess my point is, any music coming from Band of Horses is great to hear, however on this new release they are missing something in the magic. It does to me sound like a collection of B sides and outtakes from other albums. I cannot say that this is a bad album; but, I can say that it isn't a great album. Some may disagree.
Long story short, if you like the band by all means get it, but don't expect to be blown away.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Glyn Johns has a pretty incredible resume'. He's worked with Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, and several other rock legends; for this reason, it's not surprising that a band would want him producing their album. For Band of Horse's fourth full-length album, the band feels a little looser than they have before - they feel comfortable and at ease. MIRAGE ROCK feels like an ode to older times: it references the Americana of Neil Young, Tom Petty, and the Eagles. Band of Horses doesn't ape these influences though - instead they let those bands' sounds seep into their own.
The lead single, "Knock Knock" showcases the band at their loosest on the album - it's a solid, catchy song, and most importantly, it sets a great beginning for MIRAGE ROCK. Aside from "Knock Knock" there are moments on the album when it feels like the band is trying to reclaim their rougher edges: "Feud" and "A Little Biblical" are a few of these moments. The song is followed by "How to Live," a more Southern-based rocker; it's supported by strong melodies and instrumentation, and the song is unafraid to touch on typical Southernisms. "Slow Cruel Hands of Time" is the first ballad-based song on the album, and similar to "How to Live," its lyrics are inspired by Southern-Americana imagery - it's a song feels close to something special, but it never quite gets there. "Shut-In Tourist" is a more psychedelic detour, and while some listeners may find its repetition annoying, it works for me. Band of Horses references Neil Young on "Dumpster World," a more socially-conscious song (with very on-the-nose lyrics) that erupts into distortion midway through. Bridwell retreats from his Young-esque croon for about half of the album's finale, "Heartbreak on the 101." The song is marked by acoustics and more orchestral strings; the ballad works well, and it's a good closer for MIRAGE ROCK.
This album follows the progression that band started by adding members Tyler Ramsey, Bill Reynolds, and Ryan Monroe on INFINITE ARMS. I don't want to say that I enjoyed MIRAGE ROCK the least of Band of Horses' discography, but I will say that I prefer their other albums more. There are a few songs here that fall flat for me, but for the most part, the album works well as a whole. Listeners who didn't enjoy the band's previous work probably won't be turned on to them here, but I think that most fans of the band will enjoy what Bridwell and company have to offer on this release. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Knock Knock," "Heartbreak on the 101" and "How to Live."
(Additional Release Information:)
The above review covers the full album MIRAGE ROCK, but there are a few other songs for which to look out. The song "Ego Nightmare" can be found on iTunes - it serves as a bonus track on the album, but it can be purchased separately. The deluxe edition of this album comes with an additional EP: SONIC RANCH SESSIONS. This EP is 5 tracks long, and it includes songs that were recorded during a session in a studio in Texas (including the album's title track). Here are those songs:
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The fourth recording by Band of Horses comes during a time when the group's line up has stayed fixed for perhaps the longest time in its history. Perhaps this solidarity helps explain what is a shift in direction for the band to more stripped-down 70's style songs from the more grandiose efforts on their previous recordings.
I have to say that I initially did not like this shift in tone on "Mirage Rock," but after listening multiple times, I actually do. This album strikes me more as more of a colloration among memmbers, and there is ample variety among the songs. Granted not every track is a winner---Heartbreak on the 101 has me scratching my head and punching the skip button---but I like pretty much the rest of the album.
I encourage you to give this one some time to "burn in" before you bash it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I'm surprised by the negative reviews on this? I'll confess I'm not a die-hard fan, but I have enjoyed everything this band has released, and I don't hear this as being some great departure or step backwards. These guys aren't reinventing the wheel. But they write great 70's 'Cali' type folky inspired tunes. Great melodies, beautiful vocals, and a really solid band. I guess my expectations are different, but I'm loving this, it's simple, nice, fun songs. I'd have said that if you liked BoH you'd dig this, but maybe not judging from the reviews. But I think it's great, and i'm happy to have it in my BoH collection...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
It's hard for me to even consider this Band of Horses and if you ignored the name it wouldn't be. The lineup has changed too much. This album is just too generic and monotonous to listen to as a BoH album. I can understand the shift in style, and I wouldn't call it lazy, but I think it's long past time to rebrand. For those hoping for the interesting sounds of the past, just forget about it. Infinite Arms was the last rustle before the silence that this band by its name has become.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Sorry but I don't think BOH will ever be what they were on Everything All The Time and Cease To Begin. I don't know what it is. They've just lost that sound completely. I am not saying Mirage Rock is bad. It is a decent album for sure, but it isn't epic like their first two. They have a folky, country rock sound now that isn't like the alternative sound they used to have and they aren't nearly as heavy. Even the slow songs lack that same flare that they once had. I do love BOH but their last two albums have really let me down. Not sure if I will even buy the next one.
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Wow, since when did this band become more pop-country than alt rock with an occasional country twist? I was excited after listening to 'Knock Knock' as it seemed to be a solid start to the album. However, after listening to the rest of the record: 'How to Live' , 'A Little Biblical', 'Long Vows', what a disappointment. Literally made me nauseous. These tracks and many others on the album are sappy pop garbage for lack of a better description.
The reason I'm being so harsh is that this was one of my favorite alt rock bands out there in a genre where there are very few quality bands left still creating consistently good rock albums. 'Everything all the time' and 'Cease to Begin' are both brilliant; dark, heavy driving guitar, creative lyrically and musically. Infinite arms was a definitely softer and not as impressive, but still had some gems. Apparently it was a sign of what was to come. This album shares nothing with the masterpieces 'Everything' or 'Cease' beyond some parts of 'knock knock' and 'feud'. We need more songs like 'The Funeral' and 'Cigarettes, Wedding Bands' ; powerful, emotional, and meaningful, not recycled acoustic country rifs mixed with cookie-cutter juvenile pop love song lyrics.
I really hope this band returns to what made them great and gives up on this lame pop country kick they have been on.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
I have enjoyed ALL of the BOH albums. Mirage Rock is also a good album like the others before it. This one has a definite 70's Rock vibe to it. It does not sound exactly like the previous albums. That is a good thing in my book. It is healthy for bands to explore new influences and try new things.
The first 5 songs on the album are the better songs. The next 5 are also good. I will say that I didnt really like the vocals on track 11, Heartbreak On The 101. The only song on Mirage Rock that I truly did not enjoy.
I do not get the 1 star and 2 star hate that the album has gotten. Giving a good album and band like BOH a 1 star rating is idiotic. Save that for the truly awful like Owl City or LMFAO.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
4th studio offering by Band Of Horses, they brought in Glyn Johns (Rolling Stones, The Who etc.), to produce their latest "Mirage Rock". Benjamin Birdwell and Bill Reynolds write some very strong songs in, "A Little Biblical", "Knock Knock", "Electric Music", "Heartbreak On The 101", "Fued" and CSN sound of "Dumpster World". As the reviewer said before, this has the 1970's written all over it, and that's not so bad. This album is more upbeat than their last one "Infinite Arms", a solid 4 star release. I think these 1 star reviewers are totally nuts!