15 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Will Oldham consistently reinvents his persona with a number of aliases — Palace Brothers, Music, Songs — so it was only a matter of time before he reinvented his older material with new interpretations. Here, he employs top notch Nashville session musicians to add the professional patina always missing from his own ramshackle productions, and the results are deeper, steadier songs that allow Oldham to calm his own vocal hysterics and settle into mature, often touching readings. Hargus "Pig" Robbins' piano and Mike Johnson's pedal steel add eloquence. In the past, Oldham's quirks and unusual production methods could obscure the songs and their melodic grace, making his music seem as much gimmick and artifice as personal self-expression. "New Partner," "Gulf Shores," "You Will Miss Me When I Burn," "West Palm Beach," and "No More Workhorse Blues" flow with an effortless grace that suggest Oldham need not lean on his peculiar, idiosyncratic ways to put across his musical vision. He benefits from the mature approach.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Will Oldham consistently reinvents his persona with a number of aliases — Palace Brothers, Music, Songs — so it was only a matter of time before he reinvented his older material with new interpretations. Here, he employs top notch Nashville session musicians to add the professional patina always missing from his own ramshackle productions, and the results are deeper, steadier songs that allow Oldham to calm his own vocal hysterics and settle into mature, often touching readings. Hargus "Pig" Robbins' piano and Mike Johnson's pedal steel add eloquence. In the past, Oldham's quirks and unusual production methods could obscure the songs and their melodic grace, making his music seem as much gimmick and artifice as personal self-expression. "New Partner," "Gulf Shores," "You Will Miss Me When I Burn," "West Palm Beach," and "No More Workhorse Blues" flow with an effortless grace that suggest Oldham need not lean on his peculiar, idiosyncratic ways to put across his musical vision. He benefits from the mature approach.

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