Cease To Begin Review

artist: Band of Horses date: 12/18/2007 category: compact discs
Band of Horses: Cease To Begin
Release Date: Oct 8, 2007
Label: Sub Pop
Genres: Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
Cease To Begin is the responsible adult to Time's reckless teenager, with Bridwell pitting his high, clear tenor against backdrops of swirling indie rock and campfire singalongs.
 Sound: 7.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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reviews (2) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Cease To Begin Reviewed by: Something_Vague, on october 09, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Band Of Horses's follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, "Everything All The Time" is set to be released and I've got the first review on the internet. Lead singer Ben Bridwell said about the album in an interview: "I guess the first record had some kind of country-ish leanings and things [but] I think there's maybe a little bit more of [that] feeling on it, a little more down-home, I guess, and not so much indie rock." After hearing this album, I'm going to have to say either he was straight lying or he was talking about a different album. This album is more electric based than the previous album, and in that sounds more like a typical rock album. The new album does have a bit of a country twang to it, but nothing over the top, infact it's hardly noticable in it's electric alt-rock attitude. It's almost as if you took one part My Morning Jacket and mixed with it one part Foo Fighters and one part Cold War Kids. It's a weird hybrid to be honest and I'm not exactly sure it lives up to their debut's brilliance. This time around the band works with legendary indie producer Phil Ek, who has produced bands from the iconic Built to Spill and the groundbreaking Pretty Girls Make Graves, so they were in good hands. There are parts in the album where it swooned with violins and and a grand beauty that almost escapes this album, it's a beautiful piece, but I think it falls short to their debut's power. // 7

Lyrics: Ben Bridwell (who I only assumes writes the lyrics) has written some beautiful lyrics this time. More reflective of today, and less reminscent of the past, like on the last album. The lyrics fit the music wonderfully, and his voice has really stepped up this around as well. He's vocally stunning, and now he's understandable. The reverb on his voice isn't as heavy as once was, and it really lets the lyrics become the main focus in some of the songs. The singer really impressed me this time around and I think this may be the strongest aspect of the album. I think the really amazing aspect of the lyrics comes from the first song, "I could sleep/when I lived alone/Is there a ghost in my house?" The only lyrics in the entire 3 minute song. // 9

Overall Impression: In comparision to their debut, I think it's a close call, this album is sonically more consistant, it has a togetherness that really shines unlike the last album, which was all over the place stylistically. The most impressive songs from the album are, "Is There A Ghost" a great opening (not as brilliant as "The First Song" on their last album) the beautiful "No Ones Gonna Love You" and the heavy hitting "Cigerettes, Wedding Band." The album is particularly hard to hate, and I don't hate anything about, I'm dissapointed there aren't any really stand out tracks as there was in the last album like, "The Funeral" or "The First Song." Overall this album works as a whole and it's a really nice listen all the way through. Overall, it's great, but it doesn't have the peaks of brilliance that their debut album had. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Cease To Begin Reviewed by: HandT, on december 18, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Band of Horse's sophomore effort finds itself plugging into different roots for novel results. Their style is still definitely recognizable; lush, chord heavy songs with smart lyrics and singable, ambient melodies. The progression is more of a sidestep rather than a step forward, but that's not necessarily a bad thing considering the quality of their debut Everything All The Time. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are, in a word, simple. The invigorating opener, Is There A Ghost, repeats, "I could sleep... When I live alone, is there a ghost in my house?" Another noteworthy song regarding lyrics, Ode to the LRC, summarizes ideas and feelings through simple analogies. "there's a dog coming here to eat now; Which dated back to 1993; I don't care what the people say 'cause; That dog he don't come around here anymore; No, no the dog is gone, the dog is gone." While the lyrics are effective and sometimes clever, it is often difficult to make out what is being sung due to the style of singing. Think of The Shins singer with a stronger accent and you will have something close to the Band of Horses' frontman. This didn't bother me however because the singer has a great style. Just look at the track, "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands", which is quite possibly the best BoH track next to "The Funeral". "Dead folks in the clouds are crying out loud; While they lie la lie, they lie la lie, while they lie." // 8

Overall Impression: While it's not a distinct improvement over their previous effort, it definitely demands a listen for anyone interested in folk rock. If you aren't going to buy this, a few tracks that you should download are: "Ode to LRC", "No One's Gonna Love You", "Islands on the Coast", and "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands." The only dud on the album is "The General Specific". I'm almost certain I can hear a scraping washboard and a bottle in the song, yikes. If this album were lost, I would definitely buy it again. It's one of my personal favorites in laid back rock. // 9

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