Band of Horses, ‘Mirage Rock’
It seems odd that Band of Horses' influences loom so large on the group's fourth outing. But on "Mirage Rock," spectral visions of Neil Young, Crazy Horse, and occasional singing compatriots Crosby, Stills & Nash — as well as echoes of everyone from the Eagles to the Band — weave through the proceedings. Ben Bridwell's voice remains a beguiling instrument in both high and low registers, and there are moments of stark beauty. Produced by legendary British knob twiddler Glyn Johns (The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles), the album bounces out of the gate with the driving "Knock Knock," takes on a Young-ian amble with "How to Live," and drowns sorrows in the harmony-rich "Slow Cruel Hands of Time." The winsome, Pixies-ish "A Little Biblical" has a brash bop, and the slow build of the rootsy "Electric Music" pays off in fine fashion as a nervy porch-stomper. It comes to a gloriously croaky close with the weary lament "Heartbreak on the 101." (Out now)
ESSENTIAL "Electric Music"
Band of Horses plays House of Blues on Dec. 9.