Thursday, July 3, 2008

Album Review - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy – Lie Down in the Light
[Drag City; 20/05/2008]

Going under the above-mentioned moniker, Will Oldham has always been one of the most under-appreciated independent artists. For a start, I See a Darkness will go down as one of the finest singer-songwriter albums in '90s. Oldham has always been an artist who's provided quality to those who care to listen and its truly evident with the material he's released since the 1999 pinnacle.

Lie Down in the Light is Oldham in a different vein. With more of a folk trance, this album focus more on the singer-songwriter and not much else. Just toppling the 45 minute mark, the 12 tracks Oldham delivers undulate with folk swagger ('You Remind Me Of Something (the Glory Goes)' and 'For Every Field There's A Mole'). While Oldham's lyrical ambiguity still shines the songs he plays do sound very samey and hard to break down at times. With the exception of the two above-mentioned tracks, there's little else that make the ears prick with any eagerness.

An album more suited in the company of a beer and a leather couch as apposed to a candlelight dinner, Lie Down in the Light is one of the more opaque albums from Oldham's catalogue of work (in last 10 years, anyway). Its nostalgic shift in sound could fall under the “change is as good as holiday” banner, but on the other side of the coin the grass isn't always greener either.

By Simon K

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