Reviews:: Bonnie "Prince" Billy Then The Letting Go

Will Oldham has more monikers than P. Diddy; Superwolf, BPB, Will Oldham, Palace Music, WLo (ok, I made that one up). Unlike my beat thieving, no talent rap friend, the music Will produces under all these aliases is amazing and completely his own. Some tracks from his upcoming album, Then the Letting Go are starting to surface (this is the polite way of saying the album leaked).

Will's style, in words, doesn't seem that different than a lot of other acts. I mean, hearing a band described with words like slow, haunting and acoustic is not all that uncommon, but Will Oldham stands out. As the gentle strings of Love Comes to Me start the album, it's like the opening of a depressing film you know you want to keep watching. Will's voice is backed by lovely female vocals of Daun McCarthy (she is used on almost every track with great results), and like many albums recorded in Iceland, it has a truly organic feel. You are transported to a porch, sitting watching the man play on a Sunday afternoon. He's not concerned if you are listening, and certainly not concerned if you are enjoying the music that is such a part of him. This attitude is something that makes me love Will's work.

Will's music, as always, is dark, but the strings he uses freely really seems to bring even more mood to the project. Cursed Sleep is melancholy song and you can't help but feel his emotion when he utters the words like, "I cried and felt my legs fail. In her arms I trembled..." These frail, scared tracks are my favorite type of Oldham songs, and he wrote some doozies for this record, including the spiritual God's Small Song. The use of subtle steel and muted, almost undetectable guitar picks helps his lyrics explode on the track.

This record is certainly one of the most accessible offerings he's put forward lately. The variety on the record is fantastic. Whether you enjoy the country stylings of the beautiful duet, Lay And Love, or the folky-blues riff used on Cold & Wet, you quickly become engaged in the effort. Will also creates some catchy, more alive tracks like Big Friday and uses strings and drums to venture into the banging clang of Tom Waits on The Seedling.

I don't think it's fair for critics or fans to try to explain or interrupt Will's lyrics, so I'm certainly not going to try. Like most of his releases, I just press play and enjoy every note.

For any of our Toronto readers, Will is playing A FREE IN-STORE @ ROTATE THIS - ON AUG. 19TH. Get there early, since it will be rammered.

MP3:: Bad News - via Little Radio Blogzine


@ 6:31 PM, barb kicked the following game:

Thanks for the review! I'm just listening to "cursed sleep" and I love it and I'm looking forward to the whole album! Greetings from Germany, Barb

 

@ 5:08 AM, dale kicked the following game:

I love it!

 

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