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If you are a Band of Horses fan or a only casual listener, the song you would have heard is “The Funeral.” This song appeared in their first EP, “Everything All in Time” and helped the band achieve stardom.

To say the song is mainstream would be inaccurate, but it just about reached the cusp. It was upbeat and sorrowful, and anyone could relate, regardless of knowing the meaning. “The Funeral appeared on television series, video games, advertisements and films, and was played on the Late Show with David Letterman.

However, their latest album, “Infinite Arms,” released in 2010, has a completely different sound and style, and is entirely  Americana.

The drastic change is that the style and sound of their new album is not purposeful, it’s only natural. Lead singer, guitarist and founding member Ben Bridwell is the only surviving member from the “Everything All in Time” EP, as other member Mat Brooke left after the band’s debut. Since then, the band has made significant additions, including Ryan Monroe, Tyler Ramsey, Bill Reynolds and Creighton Barrett.

Often likened to an early Neil Young, Bridwell had a famous reputation to live up to, and he delivered. Written with the guise of the timeless America the Beach Boys inspired, the lyrics of “Laredo,” “Blue Beard” and “Dilly” all prove that the band can move away from its indie roots into something more classic.

The music videos for “Laredo” and “Dilly” exemplify the 1950s and 1960s Americana of endless summers and rebels without a cause.

With the iTunes generation buying singles and record labels pushing singles instead of full albums, it is nice to see that Band of Horses’ isn’t simply ten singles forced together, but one well thought-out album that is continuous and content with its easy-going melody.

That being said, those looking for smash-hits won’t find that one defining tune in “Infinite Arms.” The album is simply complete in itself, and each song relies on the next to define its meaning.

Even if you are one whose playlist jumps from one hit artist to the next, try this album. It is one continuous loop of songs that hold a similar harmony and theme, yet each is individual in their own right.

Thus, “Infinite Arms” is perfect for that road trip where looking down at the iPod to change songs is probably a bad idea. It’s better to pay attention to the road and let the music play.

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