Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bat For Lashes: "The Haunted Man" (album review)

Combining gloomy atmospheres with vivid imagery and a hauntingly beautiful voice has won many fans for Bat For Lashes (aka Natasha Khan).  Her third album, The Haunted Man, has finally made its way out to fans.

This time around Bat For Lashes place a greater emphasis on beats and electronic slashes and sweeps than on previous releases.  Tracks like "All Your Gold" have a less organic feel to them.  But that's the exception.  Most of the songs are standard Bat For Lashes with plenty of strings and swirling vibes.

"A Wall" is a slow grower that ends in absolute triumph.  A gospel vibe begins "Oh Yeah", making you think you're about to be baptized in a river.  The New Wave and Goth-influenced "Rest Your Head" sees Khan in full Siouxsie Souix mode.

Vocally, Khan is as strong as ever.  She is equally comfortable being elegant and vulnerable ("Lilies") as she is warm and confident ("Laura").  The angelic vocals on "Marilyn" lift it to the stars.

Khan doesn't stray far from the path she's beaten with this new record.  The beats may be a little more prominent, but the focus is the ethereal, almost mystic arrangements and of course, her voice.  A little more variation would be nice however, as a number of the tracks get lost in the crowd.

Best tracks: "Marilyn", "Oh Yeah"

Track listing for The Haunted Man:
  • Lilies
  • All Your Gold
  • Horses of the Sun
  • Oh Yeah
  • Laura
  • Winter Fields
  • The Haunted Man
  • Marilyn
  • A Wall
  • Rest Your Head
  • Deep Sea Diver

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