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Album review: Band of Horses’ Are You OK is more than just OK

Band of Horses keep things hooky on their fifth album. Are You OK finds the moody Seattle quintet emerge with some of their best melodies yet.
Band of Horses' Are You OK.
Band of Horses' Are You OK.

Are You OK

Band of Horses

Interscope

Three stars

Band of Horses keep things hooky on their fifth album. Are You OK finds the moody Seattle quintet emerge with some of their best melodies yet. At the centre of it all is the yearning lead vocals of Ben Bridwell. Soaking up in a hot bath of reverb, his husky tones come across all starry eyed over a production that is often majestic.

The dreamy opener, Dull Times/ The Moon swoons with its ramshackle drumming and sparse guitars – you can almost hear the sounds of the ocean portrayed on the album cover.

That same ethereal vibe is expanded to IMAX proportions on Hag, before the album highlights – the one-two punch of Casual Party and In a Drawer.

The former is sublime pop-rock with a joyous chorus that has the potential of landing the group their first mainstream radio hit. In A Drawer succeeds on the strengths of its arrangements – the track begins with Bridwell crooning serenely over a scratchy drum machine and synths before brittle guitar riffs arrive and a quirky chorus is supplied by American alternative rock hero Jason Mascis Jr. Are You OK finds Band of Horses at their most pleasing.

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Updated: June 13, 2016 04:00 AM

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