From 2006 to 2010, Band of Horses released three albums packed with shimmering indie rock, soaring soft pop, and reverberant twang, and each was glorious in its own way. But 2012’s Mirage Rock sounded like paint-by-numbers Band of Horses—flat and lifeless. It’s a welcome relief that the band’s new album Why Are You OK finds Ben Bridwell & Co. back in the easygoing, starlit-evening groove they lived in a decade ago. There are a few charging, chiming rockers (“Solemn Oath,” “Casual Party”), a handful of pillowy dream songs (“Barrel House,” “Lying Under Oak”), and a few tunes that filter Bridwell’s widescreen anthems through off-kilter production (“Hag,” “Throw My Mess”). With only an exception or two, the songs on Why Are You OK come together quite nicely—simply put, Band of Horses sounds like Band of Horses again, and that’s a very high compliment. BEN SALMON
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