Bat for Lashes The Haunted Man

Bat for LashesThe Haunted Man
Natasha Khan's first two albums as Bat For Lashes (2006's Fur and Gold and 2009's Two Suns) cast her as a playful, idiosyncratic musician whose penchant for quirk often eclipsed her talent as a songwriter. Third album The Haunted Man is Khan's mature record. Moved by the quiet grandeur of the English countryside where she's been living and informed by the research she's done on the history and culture of her native land, The Haunted Man is defined by a more refined sensibility, drawing back the playful clatter of her first two albums in favour of sparser arrangements and a slightly elegiac tone. Of course, it's still Bat For Lashes. Opener "Lilies" is punctuated by bombastic, synth-driven choruses and "A Wall" features a bed of danceable drums and shuffling percussion, but the bulk of the album, like the choral "Oh Yeah" and sombre "Marilyn," finds Khan in a more reserved mode. Centrepiece "Laura," on which Khan yearningly croons over a simple piano melody, is the gorgeous highlight, but The Haunted Man is enjoyable from front to back. (Parlophone)