Infinite Arms - Band of Horses

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Even when he's singing about zoning out on the couch, it feels Grand Canyon expansive.
  2. Seemingly able to kick out a chug-a-lug stomper with absolute ease at this point, the best moments on Infinite Arms center around Bridwell’s growing confidence in the his deadliest weapon: his voice.
  3. Frontman Ben Bridwell's airy vocals and cozy lyrics have stayed consistent, but the impressive production work by the band and Phil Ek places the gorgeous melodies front and center without sacrificing Band of Horses' rustic power.
  4. No great leaps forward from ‘Everything All The Time’ and ‘Cease To Begin’, just lovely, warm-hearted, full-throated harmonies and gentle melancholy.
  5. Their third album Infinite Arms glows with that familiar sound, a sound born with an American heart.
  6. Infinite Arms is their strongest album yet, perfecting their instantly recognisable sound with Bridwell in fine voice throughout.
  7. 80
    Infinite Arms is a neoclassic landmark that you'll need to get on vinyl. This is a record that begs to be flipped over and played again. [Jun 2010, p.93]
  8. For those who let it sink in, Infinite Arms could be a contender for the year’s best summer album, not to mention the band’s most cohesive album to date.
  9. Infinite Arms benefits from a mixture of expansive pondering--Factory, for example, coul easily become a staple of emotive TV dramas--and such lonely romance as Way Back Home, which twinkles like fireflies. [Jun 2010, p.129]
  10. 80
    Not long ago, Ben Bridwell's reedy vocals and slow-burn guitar were compared to Built to Spill's Doug Martsch; Bridwell himself is now a touch- stone. But when does "consistent" translate to "rut"? For Band of Horses, not yet.
  11. The songs deal with lost loves and shattered dreams, but also redemption and eternal youth--appropriate themes for a collection bursting with timeless melodies.
  12. South Carolina rockers make big music.
  13. It's that sense of humbling, childlike wonder that defines what they do with their weathered hands. And they do it as brilliantly here as they always have done, which is high praise enough.
  14. Fans of the band, and those with a rustling liking for a certain kind of beard-here-now Americana, will devour this like a bottle of the Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler referenced on the last track.
  15. You can also hear some Fleet Foxes, a soft-rock shift that may bum out older fans. But for tuneful chilling out, it's like a fine old couch.
  16. They’ll never be one of the greats, but Band of Horses have proved that they’ve near mastered the art of making quality, old-fashioned rock ‘n roll.
  17. Three albums in, Band Of Horses could stand to push itself more than it does here, though there is some comfort in the familiarity. This is a band with a brand.
  18. This is a lot of doom and gloom for a band that remains listenable and enjoyable, and Infinite Arms deserves to be played a few times to hear the fine musicianship and occasional transcendental moment. [Spring 2010, p.62]
  19. Infinite Arms isn’t nearly as charming nor nearly as emotive as the band’s other work. It’s an image of a band that’s exhausted their aesthetics to a point of sterility, and it’s going to take a lot of soul-searching and reinvention to figure out where to go next.
  20. 60
    When the opening track of this third album features CSN-style harmonising about hotel lobbies, you wonder if they're trying a little too hard to sound like a burnt-out folk rock supergroup from 1971. [June 2010, p. 92]
  21. At its best, Arms is a pleasant album, one that sounds good on the surface or as background music. For most bands, that's perfectly acceptable. But for a group like Band Of Horses--whose ambitions have always intersected with being meaningful and transcendent, too--somehow just being acceptable makes Arms fall short.
  22. Infinite Arms is a surprisingly understated affair.
  23. Infinite Arms further fluctuates between the vigorous (NW Apt.), the understatedly pretty (Evening Kitchen) and the yawn-inducing (title tune).
  24. It’s painful to say, but Band of Horses’ third release makes one long for the proverbial record-label suit saying, “I don’t hear a single.’’
  25. Slow songs aren’t bad in themselves, but boring slow songs are the worst. Anyway, Infinite Arms has its share of mid-to-fast tempos, too. Again, though, the songs are of inconsistent quality.
  26. Infinite Arms just feels less tender, less personal, more twang-by-numbers than the last couple, despite its familiar sound and many of the same principals.
  27. Infinite Arms is a confusing, schizophrenic work. Several of its earlier tracks find the band clicking like never before and exploring fresh ideas while sounding more aerodynamic than ever. But so much else seems to have been haphazardly thrown together, as if the band never even entered the same room during the recording process.
  28. The impression is that the same tale is being told on every track, just with slightly adapted words each time, and this too undoubtedly contributes to the sense of overall blandness with which this album is suffused.
  29. The band leans on plain, incredibly legible songs that have little to hide behind; successful in a gestural way, but little more. And the songwriting of the frontman Ben Bridwell, always a little obtuse, has begun to decompose, like sketches drawn from faded memories.
  30. On the whole Infinite Arms is an album buried under the weight of its own sound. It's hard to know how this album could have sounded with less ham-handed production, but as it stands the mix here feels like some sleight of hand.
  31. Infinite Arms fumbles its Birks like a weary hippie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    The sounds of this album are beautiful; from the beautiful and contemplative ("Blue Beard" and "Evening Kitchen") to somewhat unexpected catchy rock numbers ("NW Apt." and "Laredo"). The album feels cohesive, touching on all of the separate components of this band's style to create a satisfying work. Worth a listen. Full Review »
  2. Dec 3, 2010
    really bad compared to the first two. this is overproduced and the tracks are shallow and the lyricshas no depth. Also the band has changed. Back to basics please. Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2010
    Bring mainstream rock, pyschedelic pop, and folk together, "Infinite Arms" would be the end result with no sparkle or anything else that would keep the album alive. It's kind of like, "I've heard this way too many times before". Full Review »