Monday, May 31, 2010

[Album Review] Band of Horses | Infinite Arms

     A drum roll leading into a symphonic ringing of string instruments unveil Infinite Arms and a slick, rejuvenated Band of Horses. Leaving no time for tomfoolery, Band of Horses flaunt their newfound sound from the get-go whilst boxing their former mentality and tossing it in the attic. It’s a departure from the band’s former sound, a sweeping pop-infused alteration. They have layered on enough production to taint their charming alt-country identity forever, yet the product is more wholesome.
     Notable toe-tappers “Northwest Apartment” and “Complements” feature blissfully layered backing vocals that sound phenomenal as a whole, a result of numerous harmonies and textures. The band’s reliance on tiers of vocals and instruments creates a grandiose and compelling sound, and it’s a sense of power that pervades the entire album.  
     This recent musical revival wasn’t their resolute tactic throughout the album however. With traces of prior albums, “Older” is the runt of Infinite Arms, containing a glorious folk remedy to the case of mass-appeal the band caught.
     The lyrical wunderkind, songster Benjamin Bridwell, channels touching stories of self-discovery and astray loves through the mountainous cadences of Infinite Arms. The humid emotional ambience of the album is especially searing on the title track, a nostalgic ballad wielding lyrics with limitless translations.
     Infinite Arms extends a gracious pair of limbs for swathing purposes and envelops one in an extensively secure, thorough sound. Their folk tinges were gently tucked under pop fluff and laid to rest on this latest release. Without trashing their underpinnings, these South Carolina boys have suited themselves for the big time.

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