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Master and Everyone

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iTunes Review

Will Oldham has recorded under various aliases over the years — Palace Brothers, Music, Songs… his own name, and as Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Despite the subtle stylistic shifts, in the end it comes down to Oldham's shaky, puzzling voice and his elliptical, often obscure lyrics. His music isn't for everyone, but for those who inherently understand its majestic power or are seduced by its mystery, there is much to recommend. Master and Everyone is one of Oldham's most focused efforts, incredibly quiet and intimate, full of squeaks, foot taps, and whispers of love's beauty and sad failures. "The Way" sets the tone with acoustic guitar and cello chasing a fragile lead vocal and a haunting backing vocal with the simple plea, "Love me the way I love you." "Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise," the title track, "Wolf Among Wolves," and "Joy and Jubilee" are simple, unadorned, gorgeous folk-draped melodies that while suggesting an age-old romantic tradition are timeless in their simplicity. Like any great album, the surprises keep coming, as "Even If Love" and "Hard Life" fill out the album with songs every bit as unflagging and intense as their predecessors. A career high-point.

Customer Reviews

delicately crafted masterpiece

Master and Everyone is Will Oldham's masterpiece. I have collected all of his work over the years from Palace Brothers onwards and find good and great music in every album. But there is something about the way he constructs the songs in this album that is different to the rest. A lot of his music feels like meandering ad-libbing with melodies and lyrics being discovered along the way-this is no criticism, It produces wonderful songs. But for me his best work ...his most touching work feels constructed if he wants to say something important and doesn't leave it to chance. 'i see a darkness' his masterpiece from the album of the same name feels similarly carefully crafted. In this album he sounds almost defeated by life experiences and has had to work hard to push the music that is delicate, beautiful, painful and survives repeated listening over the years.

Martin Yellow here's a word.


The Awesome swims in, we all look in awe.

This record changed my life. Wolf Among Wolves is one of my most favorite songs of all time.


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