With certain bands, I walk into their new albums assuming they can do no wrong. Band of Horses is one of those groups - their previous releases have all been SO good. The 3 year wait for their new full length LP, Infinite Arms, has been a long and difficult one (it will release on May 18th, btw).
Well, I have given it my first full listen and I am a bit lost for words. It is good, but I don't know if it is great yet. The first 3 tracks, which have already been circulating - Factory, Compliments and Laredo - all suggested a great album to follow. Track 4, however, Blue Beard, left me not sure what to think. The predominant melody in the song smacks of Ben Gibbard - which is not a bad thing - but by the end of the track, it devolvs into a multi-layer harmony a bit too reminiscent of Afternoon Delight a la Will Ferrel in Anchorman.
The album regains its composure in track 5, Way Back Home, but alternately shines and falters throughout. The album closes with "Bartlet + James," an epic track that may rely a bit heavily upon the grandiose, but Band of Horses carry it well.
I wouldn't say that "the jury is still out," but a few of the tracks have yet to stick.
We'll see . . .