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|Bonnie "Prince" Billy||Primary Artist|
|Valgeir Gudjonsson||Electric Piano|
|Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson||Cello|
|Orunn Osk Marinosdottir||Viola|
|Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson||Flugelhorn|
|Dawn McCarthy||Arranger, Composer|
|Nico Muhly||String Arrangements|
|Ryder McNair||String Arrangements|
Posted October 1, 2010
Over the course of his fifteen-year career, Will Oldham has proved himself one of America's most enduring, if idiosyncratic, singers, someone who, despite frequent sharp turns and collaborations, has crafted a voice that is unmistakably his. Having enjoyed his Palace records but dropping off somewhere after the first couple of 'Bonnie Prince Billy' records, I first heard this play at a cinema showing of the movie he recently starred in, Old Joy, and was immediately struck but its spaciousness, the use of strings, and its departure from his usual strangled folk. The rich production -- while it will, on principle even, turn some people off -- is so artfully done that it feels less like the padding these additions can so often be than a perfect embellishment of Oldham's intensely personal, elliptical narratives. Dawn McCarthy from the Faun Fables, who provides mesmerising, constantly surprising back-up vocals, is less a constant presence than a ghost, rising up when you least expect it, providing some of the records most enduring hooks. Most of all, Oldham seems completely at ease on this record, with himself, with his instruments, with his words, which makes the record a pleasure to listen to, and much less of an ordeal than many of the LPs to come out under the 'Bonnie' moniker. After the WTF moment with the Greatest hits album, and his great dabbling with rougher textures on the Superwolf collaboration, Oldham continues to prove there is very little he is not capable of "for further proof, check out his recent video clip of Kanye West's 'Can't Tell Me Nothin'."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2010
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