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Friday, February 27, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 6.0° F  Fair
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Band of Horses: Infinite Arms

Though critics like to compare Band of Horses to Built to Spill and My Morning Jacket, the group's newest release seems to position them for a leap into dream pop, or dreamy arena rock perhaps. The album's title track could be a Flaming Lips ballad with some vintage Mazzy Star chords between verses, except for one detail: The guitars ring like Coldplay's Jonny Buckland's, not the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne's. "Factory," the album's opener, also ventures into Coldplay territory. While the song's melody is something Aimee Mann might pen, the way it lilts and sways feels epic, especially with the addition of an orchestra.

This is music for stargazing and candle-lighting, a far cry from the scrappier moments of the band's first and second albums. "On My Way Back Home" adopts a slightly edgier, Shins-style approach to songcraft, with Ben Bridwell's gravelly voice reaching for the heavens at unexpected moments. However, the band doesn't really rock out until "NW Apt.," and by then, the album's almost over.

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