While it’s hard to tell if Khan’s gentle coo heard throughout is meant to seduce or frighten away, one thing is certain: The Haunted Man is another near masterpiece.
If Khan’s last two albums were tapestries, this one is a prayer book, adorned with pictures of the exalted, stained with tears, and almost too personal for the eyes of strangers to look upon.
Stripped down of any excessive ornamentation, it's the most raw incarnation of Bat For Lashes we've heard yet.
Spacious, boldly orchestrated, and emotionally rich, Khan's latest is another step forward for the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, and one of the year's most beguiling albums.
The Haunted Man showcases some of her best work, but only in places.
For large swathes, it's like being plunged into a fairytale soundtracked by skin-prickling electro and populated by downtrodden sods hunting for breadcrumbs of comfort.
It’s safe to say that Natasha Khan has once again managed to craft an album that ticks all the boxes, while also showing a maturity and evolution from her Mercury nominated sophomore album.
The Haunted Man may not reveal a drastic stylistic shift, but the subtle difference is a nonetheless compelling documentation of the process of metamorphosis.
The Haunted Man is all about Khan letting her guard down, which you can hear in the yearning pitch of her voice and the bleeding-heart themes of her songs.
There’s an undeniable beauty running throughout the album, but there is also such a comfortable departure from the form of the first two records that it might be too easy for Khan.
This effort is laudable, but she sounds best when pushing the envelope. A lively talent like hers shouldn’t be so concealed.
For the most part this is a composed, nourishing pop album.
The downside to The Haunted Man being so meticulous is that its songs often feel detached, as though Khan is performing rather than inhabiting the deeply emotional music.
While there are moments of exhilarating experimentalism and occasional bits of grasp-the-sky beauty, the overwhelming majority of The Haunted Man is just drab.
Spellbinding and unexpected, THE HAUNTED MAN doesn't so much brave a new path for Bat For Lashes as much as it confirms Khan's tremendous and formidable range and versatility. The material here, mostly paired-down compared to the lush arrangements of her prior two albums, is both playfully sensual ("All Your Gold") and deeply cathartic and moving ("Laura"). Confirms the singer/songwriter as one of the most reliable creators of consistently great, distinctly offbeat music today.
" Your heart broke when the party died " Bat For Lashes
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