11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With an unyielding Maya Tone drum machine deliberately stifling the rhythms, and a stubborn backing band intent on a desolate minimalism, Will Oldham assembled his lowest-key album to date. His poetry is often elusive, occasionally vulgar, but always in keeping with an ominous, creeping vibe that suggests the world is about to end in a whimper. His unorthodox vocals — Neil Young taken to the breaking point — yield an unusual emotional catharsis. "The Sunlight Highlights the Lack In Each" captures the aesthetic perfectly. The vocals clash with errant piano chords, a wah-wah guitar that sounds accidentally stumbled upon, and that half-dazed feeling when one is in twilight and unable to distinguish between dreams and reality. Oldham's songs are among his best. "Stablemate," "A Sucker's Evening," "No Gold Digger," and "Disorder" stand among his most haunted tales. He's drifting away from the mountain-folk and country leanings of his earlier work and discovering new, austere territory that's virtually without category, either intriguing or alienating the listener with its sense of mystery.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With an unyielding Maya Tone drum machine deliberately stifling the rhythms, and a stubborn backing band intent on a desolate minimalism, Will Oldham assembled his lowest-key album to date. His poetry is often elusive, occasionally vulgar, but always in keeping with an ominous, creeping vibe that suggests the world is about to end in a whimper. His unorthodox vocals — Neil Young taken to the breaking point — yield an unusual emotional catharsis. "The Sunlight Highlights the Lack In Each" captures the aesthetic perfectly. The vocals clash with errant piano chords, a wah-wah guitar that sounds accidentally stumbled upon, and that half-dazed feeling when one is in twilight and unable to distinguish between dreams and reality. Oldham's songs are among his best. "Stablemate," "A Sucker's Evening," "No Gold Digger," and "Disorder" stand among his most haunted tales. He's drifting away from the mountain-folk and country leanings of his earlier work and discovering new, austere territory that's virtually without category, either intriguing or alienating the listener with its sense of mystery.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
12 Ratings
12 Ratings
iwasacowboy ,

it'll take time...

i've had this record for about eight years now and i find myself needing to hear it with extreme regularity. it'll take time, though, for anyone new to will oldham. his voice lilts, breaks, whispers, shouts, chokes, and snarls (and he also makes animal noises sometimes). you'll thank yourself for the time you spend with it. will is amongst the brightest gems of american artists

Jeffrey Beaumont ,

Technically this is a Palace record

and not Bonnie Prince Billy as iTunes has re-classified it. It may seem like quibbling, but it’s both true and important in terms of the differences in approach between Palace and BPB.

A great slow record, my third favorite Palace record after Lost Blues singles comp and Viva Last Blues—much less immediate than either but nearly as great.

Horselover Fat Jr ,

My favorite Palace album

Which makes this my favorite album of all time. Perfect.

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