Review: Why Are You OK by Band of Horses

Why Are You OK by Band of HorsesFirst, the context: Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell has had a second child in the space between his band’s last album, Mirage Rock, and this one, Why Are You OK. The former had a more ramshackle feel, taking on a definitely country-rock-sy style, but did not lose the penchant for grand statements. The latter, on the other hand, feels a bit more down to earth. It doesn’t feel as sweeping, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing: the more grounded sound lends to a contemplative, but still jubilant, record. It’s still filled with irresistible hooks, but the inspiration is something closer to home – it’s clear Bridwell’s got his family on his mind throughout. It’s not that it hasn’t led to some wimp-out, like some acts of his ilk have. Despite its occasional over-simplicity – it’s good in some songs; in others, I found myself waiting for that next step – it’s steady courses. [NB]4/5

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