"Is There a Ghost" is the first single taken from Band of Horses' second album Cease to Begin, which was released on August 28, 2007. It reached #34 on the US Alternative Songs chart and #30 in Denmark, making it the band's most successful song to date.
The lyrics consist of two lines which are repeated throughout the song: "I could sleep, I could sleep. When I lived alone, Is there a ghost in my house?" According to the student newspaper The Reflector, "A simple finger-picked melody morphs into a strum-and-drum tour de force; there are layers of guitars, but not too much distortion.
In general Cease to Begin has a more Southern rock, less indie sound than Band of Horses' debut album Everything All the Time. However, "Is There a Ghost" has a strong indie feel, in contrast to the rest of Cease to Begin.
Critical response to the single was generally very favourable. An article in The Scotsman singled out "Is There a Ghost" as one of the main reasons that Band of Horses have received significant international attention, however one reviewer disliked the "polished" sound of Cease to Begin, saying that, "In the switch from low to high fidelity, Band of Horses sacrifices a good deal of angst and quality." Others were more enthusiastic, with one reviewer claiming that, "'Is There A Ghost' is the catchiest song with only 14 words to its credit since Pearl Jam's 'Smile'."
Rolling Stone ranked "Is There a Ghost" at #93 in its 100 best songs of 2007.
- Ben Bridwell - Lead vocals, guitar
- Rob Hampton - Guitar, bass guitar
- Creighton Barrett - Drums
- Ryan Monroe - Keyboards
- ^ Gregory, Nathan "Horses buck sophomore slump" The Reflector - October 11, 2007
- ^ Shea, Erin "Cease to Begin is introspective followup for Band of Horses" The Good 5 Cent Cigar - October 18, 2007
- ^ Grandy, Eric "Album Reviews" The Stranger - October 3, 2007
- ^ Pollock, David "Colts on the trail" The Scotsman - February 16, 2008
- ^ Herrmann, Zachary "Beginning of the end" The Diamondback - October 8, 2007
- ^ Hagen, Kelly "My top 10 album picks for the year" Bismarck Tribune - December 27, 2007
- ^ Castina, "Rolling Stone Magazine The 100 Best Songs Of 2007" Pop Crunch - December 13, 2007
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