I have been waiting for this for a while now, to hear the symphony of genuine plight orchestrated by the most amazing band on the fucking planet. Am I being a little biased? Nahh *See ‘yes’*.
Band of Horses new album Why are you OK is everything I ever hoped it would be, and more. It’s a thought-provoking nostalgic dream filled with heartache and redemption- a typical commodity for BOH. It’s a sweet summer day, peacefully transporting you to old dreams and love’s past.
This album has a lot of surf-rock rhythm and hints of old country songs your grandfather used to escape as he sipped his barrel-aged bourbon. The lyrics on this album are bittersweet as is every croon of Ben Bridwell’s vocal splendor.
This album speaks to me for other reasons as well. Bridwell spent nights writing this album whenever he was able to get his four children to sleep. Being a musician and a parent myself, I understand how distracting and disheartening it could be to not lose your drive and momentum. Children are wonderful but so is creating music. Ben Bridwell hit this one out of the park.
The drums are a musician’s wet dream with a raw sound subtly filtered through modern recording quality. The bass is a subtle ebb and flow, accenting that old country style. This album takes you into a different dimension as Bridwell’s vocal techniques and dreamy guitar tones sway in your ears.
And oh, I’ve seen it too many times//It’s a test of the spirit versus//The health of the mind
-“Barrel House” from Why Are You OK
With the slow and easy tempos, the solemn “Barrel House” becomes one of my top favorites on the album.
Another fond favorite is “Even Still” which is a slow but desperate heart-wrenching plea for a lover to remain how they once were, when it seems all is over. The song is reminiscent of a lover’s struggles while being a touring musician- or any traveling professional- when all they want is to stay home with their loved ones.
The book marks the page//Sittin’ out in the room//The alters of candles//Castin’ shadows on you//I see the bed in the dark//I could just sleep//I could just sleep
And hear me babe//When I don’t want to say it//See it through//I’m back home and stayin’//I can’t be//alone any more//And I don’t blame you//Or pretend to know//The right thing to do’
-“Even Still” from Why Are You OK
He seems to corral hearts with his incomplete thoughts, because he uses just the right phrases, and emphasizes the important parts, the painful parts. This album had me at OK.