With 2012’s Mirage Rock (QRO review), Benjamin Bridwell revived the quality behind his alt-country outfit Band of Horses, which had been ahead of the alt-country wave with breakthrough debut Everything All the Time way back in 2006. Ten years on from Everything, Bridwell is staying on top with Why Are You OK.
On a major label, Bridwell could have phoned it in or, shudder, gone ‘new country,’ but Why Are You OK definitely a Band of Horses record. Bridwell’s alt-country sweetness is never too saccharine, and can play upbeat or intimate. The upbeat is the more straight-up enjoyable, such as killer single “Casual Party”, but closer “Even Still” is quiet, still, and heartfelt.
It will never be 2006 again (remember when the Republican you had to worry most about was George W. Bush?…), but Band of Horses have successfully stayed strong and kept to their core.