Band of Horses
Cease to Begin


3.5
great

Review

by JAD USER (11 Reviews)
October 28th, 2007 | 13 replies | 12,773 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Band of Horses overcome lineup shifts and avoid the sophomore slump.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Coming little over a year after Band of Horses’ debut Everything All the Time, Cease to Begin has plenty to live up to. Their debut earned them a flurry of internet buzz, high profile opening tours for The Decemberists and Modest Mouse, and that album even managed to produce a truly excellent single “The Funeral”, which became something of a minor hit. Fortunately, even with the loss of founding guitarist Mat Brooke, Cease to Begin builds on their debuts strengths, while mostly omitting its sometimes glaring weaknesses. The tenants of their sound remains the same: reverb drenched vocals that recall Neil Young and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, and crashing guitars bathed in gentle organ.

Cease to Begin spends most of its time with catchy slices of southern rock tinged indie pop. Songs like the joyous opener “Is There a Ghost” and the bouncing “Islands on the Coast” float along joyous melodies and melodic guitar riffs, while Bridwell and Rob Hampton’s guitars crash and ebb like waves on “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands”. Much has been made of the bands move from Seattle to South Carolina (the album comes with a collection of photos from their new home Mount Pleasant), and it’s easy to compare that to the southern rock that tugs around the edges of the album. “The General Specific” is an old time piano stomper and the weepy, peddle steel assisted “Window Blues” is the closest they’ve come to Harvest era Neil Young, but also one of their finest songs.

Sadly, Bridwell’s lyrical shortcomings remain a problem. It’s unfortunate that under his towering croon all that’s found is lines like “The world is such a wonderful place to be”. But that same croon makes it easier to forgive lines like that, as well as a pair of dull ballads “Detlef Schrempf”, which will no doubt end up soundtracking a montage on Grey’s Anatomy and “Marry Song”, an aimless electric piano led rumination. Both songs pale in comparison to the pastoral beautiful of “No One’s Gonna Love You”, easily the best song found here.

While Cease to Begin may not have any tracks that match the instant highs of “The Funeral” or “The First Song”, it is certainly more consistent. And as a number of songs (namely “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands”, “No Ones Gonna Love You” and “Window Blues”) prove, Ben Bridwell can write some pretty great songs without Mat Brooke. Cease to Begin is certainly not perfect, but it shows that Band of Horses is here to stay. For now, that’s a good thing.



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user ratings (430)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



6085 Comments


Album is really good, better than Everything All the Time I'd say, just because it's so much catchier. The short running time poses as a problem and the album ends up wearing thin after a while, but still good.

I had a review up for this on the release date but I didn't like it much. You did a better job getting your point across, even if "Marry Song" is one of the better songs.

JAD
October 28th 2007



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think Marry Song just kinda drags, thanks though.This Message Edited On 10.28.07

samthebassman
October 29th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

For me this whole album is a bit of a drag.

corb
January 15th 2008



59 Comments


Any track called 'Detlef Schrempf' has to be good, haha. I liked the few songs that I've heard off this, i'll probably buy it.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2008



15727 Comments


Must... stop.... listening... to.... "Is There a Ghost".

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

DENEpants
May 9th 2009



382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

some songs get too southern for me. I have to skip Marry song just to enjoy this album.

DrReg
June 2nd 2009



127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really like this cd. Main, obvious point, is that his lyrics can be kind of cliched or awful. But these songs are just so damned catchy.

Deuce2
June 2nd 2009



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

tell me about it.

Is There A Ghost? super catchy!!

But my favorite song is
No One's Gonna Love You

DoctorNurse
February 17th 2010



475 Comments


Marry Song is probably my favorite song on here....

TrantaLocked
September 7th 2011



1502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I never found this band to be very country-like. I guess people are surprised when I say country sucks because I think all country is is a guy modifying his accent heavily to the point of annoyance and playing a little guitar tune with some depth lacking lyrics.

BOH does not do that.

fabzn
December 18th 2011



86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album X-years later soo goood!

iambandersnatch
February 9th 2012



1466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't get how you can hate Detlef Schrempf. The guitar/atmosphere in that song is great.

NightProwler
December 18th 2012



6335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Love the album-cover

Digging: Neil Young - American Stars 'N Bars



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