The Haunted Man (CD)


Bat For Lashes

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Amoeba Review

Billy Gil 10/20/2012

From the get-go, Bat for Lashes aka Natasha Khan is grabbing for the brass ring on The Haunted Man, declaring "thank God I'm alive" on opener "Lillies." Though she still incorporates the inward-looking, intimate goth-tinged singer-songwriter sound of her first album and part of her second, on this third album she engages in embracing pop in a way she never has, save for on her breakthrough single, “Daniel.” “All Your Gold” is the kind of shivery, evocative pop that Kate Bush pioneered in the ’80s and which has netted a bevy of recent followers (from Florence + The Machine to Beach House), but Khan does it better than most of the pack for her impeccable use of unforced detail. As on her first single, “What’s a Girl to Do,” she sings of lacking affection for someone, this time because of past injury — “today I was a dead girl walking,” she sings creepily amid stuttering guitar and a heavy dance beat that sweeps you off your feet. Similarly, the stunning “Laura” details a fading beauty or diva with beautiful tragicomedy — “you’ll be famous for longer than them, your name is tattooed on every boy’s skin.” The song’s subject remains ever elusive, yet you feel for her out of the burning intensity in Khan’s voice. Khan shows a knack for memorable choruses across The Haunted Man, even as she can sound distant and lost, creating an intriguing push-and-pull, from “Laura’s” “you’re more than a superstar” to “Marilyn’s” grand pop moment of “turnin’ into a Marilyn, leaning out of your big car” amid that song’s slow-motion synth-and-drum-machine fireworks. Because of the album’s immaculate pacing, where these high points are broken up by headier moments, like the warbling “Oh Yeah” and orchestral flourishes of “Winter Fields,” that you come back to once some of the glory of the album’s singles wears off. Its altogether one of the most rapturous and addictive listening experiences of recent memory, surely one of the year’s best.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Lilies
Bat For Lashes 04:46
2.
All Your Gold
Bat For Lashes 04:32
3.
Horses Of The Sun
Bat For Lashes 04:59
4.
Oh Yeah
Bat For Lashes 04:56
5.
Laura
Bat For Lashes 04:26
6.
Winter Fields
Bat For Lashes 03:42
7.
The Haunted Man
Bat For Lashes 05:15
8.
Marilyn
Bat For Lashes 04:35
9.
A Wall
Bat For Lashes 04:01
10.
Rest Your Head
Bat For Lashes 04:04
11.
Deep Sea Diver
Bat For Lashes 06:19

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