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The Haunted Man

The Haunted Man

11 Oct 2012
4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and product as expected.
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The fancy dress costumes have been put away, and the haunting claustrophobia of Natasha Khan's previous albums Fur and Gold and Two Suns have been traded in for a sound that is cinematic in scope and mature in outlook.

Haunted Man opens with 'Lillies', a song that draws from the same conceptual well as Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain. Khan's ethereal voice hovers above disjointed electronic beats and warm synths that seem to swoop from the sparseness and fragility of the verse to a lush chorus of exquisitely detailed instrumentation.

'All Your Gold' and 'Horses of the Sun' are both songs whose foundation is in percussive rhythms rather than melodic patterns. All Your Gold takes its lead from Egyptian cadence, with its plucked guitar notes and clinking bottles emulating the sense of intense urgency you would find in some of PJ Harvey's bluesier numbers. Horses in the Sun is built around deep syncopated Dhol drums, electronic jitters and backing vocals delivered in an Arabic magam. There is an uneasy and restless quality to this song that harkens back, at least conceptually, to some of the stranger tracks on Fur and Gold.

'Oh Yeah' takes a leaf out of M83's playbook with its epic electronic soundscape dripping with layers of sampled choirs, trip-hop beats and gorgeous twinkling pianos. What is striking about this song is how crisp the production is: with a sound so echoic and vast, it's remarkable that the individual instruments don't get washed away in torrents of reverb.

'Laura' sounds like every angsty-girl-with-a-piano ballad that one could care to hear and seems somewhat at odds with the rest of the songs on the album.
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Format: Audio CD
At different times, this is a soaring, subtle, beautiful and powerful album. It is utterly compelling. The production is so sympathetic that to listen to it with a low volume is a completely different experience to hearing it loud.

It is an ALBUM and to sit with it from beginning to end provides a real journey for the listener.

Bat For Lashes has outgrown any comparison to artists past.

Bushims are there if you really want to look for them, but Kate pretty much did it all between 1978 and 1989. Her impeccable work is forever going to be a benchmark for a certain type of female artist... just as The Beatles have been for nearly all bands, The Rolling Stones are for a certain kind of rock band, Bob Dylan for protest singers or singer/songwriters, Black Sabbath are for metal bands, Elton John is for piano playing solo artist, and so on.

The trick is to take what inspires you and rise above it, and take it further. Bat For Lashes has done this. Glorious.
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Format: Audio CD
Essentially, the third Bat for Lashes album is a lot like the second, only more so. "Haunting" is a key word that describes the addictive effect of the sounds used to underline Natasha's ethereal vocals. We get a different texture in each song, for instance plucked and muted strings in the first single All your gold, resonating drums in the next track, then bowed string bass in another, or warbling synths or xylophones. These accompaniments are often ostinato, i.e. obstinately repeated for much of the song, but as they have a different kind of sound in each song, they still offer interesting diversity, and often manage to sound mysterious, pulling the listener in by making them curious.

So, well, if you've played Two Suns a hundred times (I have), you may enjoy this even more.

(Oh, and I just love the cover photo to bits. Sadly, the booklet doesn't reveal what happened next - surely she can't have carried that bloke around forever?)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the most original singer/songwriters to appear in the last few years, Bat For Lashes is an astounding audio experience.
If you like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Goldfrapp, Moloko, Clannad, Enya, Ladytron or retro 80's electropop like New Musik, The Buggles or Sinead O'Connor you will love this.
I came across this artist completely by accident very recently having not heard her previous two albums and was immediately blown away - all three of her releases are ethereal, haunting, astonishing and her fourth album The Bride is out in July.
I can hardly wait.
A mind blowing, astonishing and haunting experience.
Five Stars a definite must buy.
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It's high timing for another Bat For Lashes album after three long years - the storytelling lure of Khan's "Two Suns" had started to wear off, and "The Haunted Man" definitely continues on a high note, cajoling as many as 5 different soundsets as 'genre' contradistinctions together in one track, so they form a clean rhythmic sheet: something Natasha always muses in. Journalists may finally start to see Khan as a female artist with her own musical identity, with her own sense of storytelling as a promising entry on the End Of Year 2012 list. Blending her Pakistani ethnic roots into and beyond the trite Kate Bush comparisons, she does more than "running up hills"; rather, you're "running too slow" by the time communication and splendour of this album is over. Piano ballad "Laura" is the real tearjerker, a song of heartbreak where the listener is left to fill in the gaps regarding the pain. That filling-in-gaps is a befitting phrase for what I'll call "occultasms" - the expulsion of emotion at times you don't even have to hear to place. Haunting indeed, and the best Bat For Lashes album, by far, to date.
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