Friday, July 09, 2010

The Latest From Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Glad to see Q and VC leading the migration back to the blog, and I'd like to chime in with my take on an old favorite of this collective. Bonnie "Prince" Billy's latest, The Wonder Show of the World, has been out for a good 3 months now, and it's aged quite well during that time span.

Musically, I'd place it between the open pop embrace of Lie Down in the Light and the spare open spaces of Master and Everyone. To me, this hits on two of Will Oldham's greatest qualities. I've gone off in the past about how minimalism as an "artistic choice" is kind of a cop-out for me, but there are some people who do minimalism damn well, and I think Will Oldham is one of them.

On the other hand, this new album isn't purely "minimalist" in terms of production values. It sounds professionally recorded to a degree I don't think I've heard since Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music, and that was a record that I think a lot of people found "produced" beyond an indie rocker's acceptable taste.

Take those comparisons as you will; this is a great record. The ensemble is great-- and gets equal billing for the first time-- and it features some of the most unabashed pop hooks of Oldham's career. If you're already a fan (and I think most of us are), I see no reason why you wouldn't be completely into this album.

1 comment:

texplush said...

I love "Go Folks, Go" and "That's What Our Love Is" almost as much as any Oldham song ever. Having a little trouble getting into the rest of the album.