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The Wonder Show of the World

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Editors’ Notes

Bonnie “Prince” Billy (a.k.a. Will Oldham) continues to find new ground within the limits of simple, acoustic music. Oldham’s voice is its own idiosyncratic wonder and his lyrics create elliptical puzzles that are part allegory, part interior monologue, part storytelling. With Emmett Kelly supplying additional guitar, Oldham delivers his best collection of raw minimalism since Master and Everyone. Drums occasionally surface (“Troublesome Houses,” “That’s What Our Love Is”), but it’s with the same less-is-more approach. It’s best to not interpret these songs, but to let each listener come to his or her own decisions. What can be appreciated without destroying the mystery is the emphasis on solid, basic melodies that could be decades old. Oldham is more than a folk musician and tracks such as “Someone Coming Through,” “Merciless and Great” and “Where Wind Blows” need to be experienced to understand the sublime and naturally surreal world created here. As Bonnie “Prince’ Billy, Oldham, often with little more than an acoustic guitar, continues to make among the most singular and powerful recordings of this modern era.

Customer Reviews

Another Will Oldham great

I've been a fan of this hometown boy for almost a decade now and he never fails. WSotW is a great album. Prime love-making material. Go Oldham Go!

so addicting

what i love about this album, and every BPB album, is that i know i'll be listening to it the rest of my life. the man can't write a song i don't like, and this entire album is insanely beautiful.

go folks, go forth

there are some insanely beautiful moments on this record, some i've never heard in a BPB release. 'someone coming through' is a great example, buy this album.


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...
Full Bio