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The Letting Go

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iTunes Review

Will Oldham, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, writes, records and performs music with an ear towards the unexpected, welcoming the ‘mistake,’ the serendipitous moment that no amount of rehearsal can replicate. It’s made for moments of unparalleled beauty and haphazard cacophony. His creaky voice doesn’t always find the note it’s looking for, but when it does the effect is chilling. Once known for ‘lo-fi’ recordings, in recent years Oldham has expanded his sonic palette without sacrificing intimacy. The Letting Go was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland with local string players and a small core of musicians who keep the fuss to a minimum but still manage to create an epic grandeur within this miniature (“Cursed Sleep”). Dawn McCarthy’s harmony vocals add an ethereal tone to these quiet, near Elizabethan melodies. “Love Comes to Me,” “Wai” and “No Bad News “ have a dream-like, half-remembered feel to them, sounding like adult nursery rhymes from a distant past. Though Oldham warns about “Turning the heart into something hard and dark,” it is precisely this gift of providing a light to such darkness that makes his music so entrancing and disarming.

Customer Reviews

Great Album, Bad Copy

Yes, it's a pretty epic, incredible album... and yes Will's done gone an' topped himself. However, I bought the album here on iTunes and it appears the copy that was transferred has a handful of digital errors... you can hear the CD twitch and skip a few times. I know, right? So sad... cause it really is something special of an album. I'm not too bummed, though, because this iTunes copy is just a placeholder until the import comes in the mail, which has 25 songs on it, including three b-sides and some rarities and revisions. So, if you absolutely can't wait, and don't care about a few glitches... you'll want this awesome effort. Hey little bird!

Best Song Writer Of This Generation!

Every album he puts out is truly amazing. Nobody writes lyrics like this any more. I could go on but buy it and see for youself.

No offense but...

...the iTunes review is dumb. Will Oldham is not a god. He's just a guy. Same with all of the other people on this album. They all do a great job. Some relationships just work, some don't. And, when a working relationship decides to make music, well it's a tremendous gift for the people involved to share that moment with the rest of us. This is the lost art of recording an event. I haven't enjoyed such a simple album in a long time. Too many people record who shouldn't. Will should. He knows what he's doing. Thank you and good night.


Born: December 24, 1970 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After his stints performing as Palace, Palace Songs, Palace Brothers, and under his own name throughout the '90s, by the end of the decade Will Oldham seemed to finally settle on the Bonnie "Prince" Billy moniker as the main outlet for his work. Regardless of the name he used to release his music or the musicians supporting him, Oldham's style remained largely the same, pitting shambling and often sparse music against his creaky, world-weary voice and literate lyrics. The Louisville, Kentucky native...
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