Mirage Rock - Band of Horses
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Sep 14, 2012
    90
    There's uncommon immediacy to Crazy Horse-style bashers like "Knock Knock" and "How To Live," as well as big-sky ballads like "Long Vows." [Oct 2012, p.73]
  2. Sep 18, 2012
    86
    Bridwell has never sounded more assured as a songwriter, exploring bold new ideas and penning some of his most poignant lyrics.
  3. Sep 19, 2012
    84
    After four triumphant releases, and no matter where they go, it's clear we can trust Band of Horses, one of America's biggest and best rock and roll bands, to deliver.
  4. Dec 6, 2012
    80
    Ben Bridwell's voice remains a beguiling instrument in both high and low registers, and there are moments of stark beauty.
  5. Oct 1, 2012
    80
    The songs work as robust individuals, as well as in the dynamic context of the album's sequencing; up-tempo rockers connect with sparse 'n' sullen twangers. [No.91, p.53]
  6. Sep 19, 2012
    80
    Mirage rock's persistent melodies and infectious energy is hard to resist. [Oct 2012, p.87]
  7. 80
    Turns out bringing his [Glyn Johns] old-school rock'n'roll expertise into the southern-fried fold makes for a perfect match.
  8. Sep 14, 2012
    80
    Some might miss the old starry-eyed dreamers; other will revel in the focus and determination.
  9. Sep 12, 2012
    75
    Mirage Rock might as well be the name of a new airy-rock subgenre, with luscious, echoey story-tunes rolling in like a soft mirage-inducing mountain fog.
  10. Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Even when Band of Horses go for broke, the South Carolina-bred Bridwell exudes the laidback gravity of a down-to earth Southerner.
  11. Sep 18, 2012
    70
    Overall, though, while Mirage Rock sees Band of Horses further immerse themselves in Americana, more than anything it finds them enraptured by the simple joy of music-making.
  12. 70
    Mirage Rock isn't a perfect record, but it's one to own.
  13. Sep 17, 2012
    70
    This record is completely free of direction changes but at least they are consistent.
  14. Sep 17, 2012
    70
    While Mirage Rock may want for a certain degree of ambition and creativity, Band of Horses have, at the very least, figured out how to bring Americana music to a mainstream rock audience without succumbing to the genre's most dire, comatose conventions.
  15. 70
    Band of Horses have embraced a more mature, laid back kind of rock on Mirage Rock, and it's a comfortable, cozy fit.
  16. Sep 12, 2012
    70
    Still, despite some odd uses of language on them, tracks like Shut-In Tourist and Everything's Gonna Be Undone will undoubtedly keep fans of this enduring band more than happy.
  17. Sep 18, 2012
    67
    On Mirage Rock's best songs, the band feels like a sum of those parts. On its worst-like lyrical head-scratcher "Dumpster World"-it sounds like an ace band that can't salvage the mediocre material.
  18. Sep 27, 2012
    60
    Bridwell's small-town observations have previously had a shallow yet quaint quality to them, but Mirage Rock goes far too heavy on the clich├ęs.
  19. Unfortunately, a handful of good moments aren't enough to outweigh an album jammed with songwriting that just doesn't amount to anything.
  20. Sep 12, 2012
    60
    For all its finite charms, though, Mirage Rock lacks the slinkiness of Infinite Arms. [Oct 2012, p.93]
  21. Sep 20, 2012
    55
    The album, sweet as it sounds, is so polite that to keep from offending listeners it stops short of saying anything to them.
  22. Sep 26, 2012
    50
    The songwriting ... takes a bit of a dip on this one. Oh sure, the first few songs are pretty good but that's it, just pretty good.
  23. Sep 12, 2012
    50
    There are those that will love this record, for whom it will be the gateway into earlier, richer work. But for those of us who have already been spellbound by what Ben Bridwell can create, this is simply not enough.
  24. Sep 21, 2012
    40
    It's a drag that so many of Mirage Rock's most transcendent moments--the stuff suggesting real maturity--are so quickly undone by such nonsensical toss-offs.
  25. Sep 19, 2012
    40
    Mirage Rock is so lightweight and inconsequential that it really does seem more like an illusion than a record; it's wispy and indiscernible, as if the people who made it had no vision for what it should be.
  26. Sep 18, 2012
    40
    If Infinite Arms was this band treading water, then Mirage Rock is the band sinking into mediocrity.
  27. Sep 17, 2012
    40
    Yet it's too comfortable, old ideas diluted to homeopathic proportions, results half-hearted and strangely spiritless, songs feeling overly long.
  28. Sep 12, 2012
    40
    The Southern-rock grit that used to make Band Of Horses spellbinding is in dangerously short supply, but there's nothing else there to replace it. [Oct 2012, p.84]
  29. Oct 30, 2012
    30
    Fourth album Mirage Rock is a bungled mess of poor production and half-assed songwriting.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Sep 25, 2012
    6
    Don Henley does Don Henley better than Bidwell. And if you want to listen to The Band you will listen to The Band. A Band of Horses album should be A Band of Horses album. So.... is it? Sadly, Mirage Rock confirms the bump in the road of promise that Infinite Arms hinted at. A first listen of "Slow Cruel Hands of Time" sums up the lackadaisical roller coaster ride that Mirage Rock never quite takes you on. Lovely acoustics that force you to anticipate the soaring melodies and vocal delivery of "Funeral" and "Great Salt Lakes" (and maybe even "Is There A Ghost") that sadly never come. The first 30 seconds amounts to the last 30 seconds, and you leave the theme park feeling dissapointed. Will this album find its way into your weekly rotation? Probably. Will it become a grower that you find yourself going back to even though you aren't happy and/or comfortable with it? Maybe. All in all, this band is capable of so much more. Full Review »
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    2
    The magic was completely gone from the lackluster, uninspired mess of an album. From the overly-poppy and bland Knock Knock, to the droning and painful Shut-In Tourist, it just felt like they stopped trying on this album. The atmospheric rock landscape Band of Horses created in their debut album Everything All The Time, has been fading more with each successive release, but with this latest offering, it just fell completely off the table. If you're into boring, buy this album. Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    1
    To keep it short, this is one giant turd of an album. A totally unlistenable mish-mash of cheese, twang and dopey, uninspired lyrics (see "Dumpster World"). Band of Horses' music has been on a sharp decline since the departure of Mat Brooke and I think "Mirage Rock" is finally rock bottom. Full Review »