Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Beware

Ok, so I am by no means the biggest Will Oldham fan in the world.  I have not followed all his many various projects all that closely.  In fact, if I am honest, I own 3 albums by the man.  ‘I See A Darkness’, ‘Master and Everyone’ and now this brand new album ‘Beware’.  That said, I also caught him live at the ABC a couple of years ago and it was one of the most stunningly beautiful live shows I’ve seen.  ‘Master and Everyone’ holds a special place in my life simply because when I was a student working on various projects or studying for exams that was always one of my favourite albums to put on whilst I worked.  It’s simple beauty never fails to make me smile and it was absolutely perfect music for trying to pass exams to.

Well this is another gem.  Absolutely gorgeous songs but with a far more country feel to them than my previous experience of his work.  To be honest, it reminds me more of his live show, where he even managed to brighten up the dark shades of tracks from I See A Darkness with some excellent instrumentation and beautiful arrangements.  I get the feeling that this album is a very personal, mysterious record.  The song titles reflect the personal and the tone of the album is without doubt one straying towards the dark rather than the light.  Hearing this makes me wonder why I’ve not just religiously invested in this mans work.  His albums never fail to disappoint me and yet I only own 3.  Well I think on the evidence of this record that will be changing every soon.  This mysterious, ellusive songwriter is definitely one that needs further exploration on my part, but on the evidence of what I’ve heard in my life, he’s well up there with the greatest songwriters of our generation.

TSP Grade = B

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2 thoughts on “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Beware

  1. Really? I’ve tried of late to dig in to this fella… perhaps the “jump in with both feet” approach was my un-doing, but it just hasn’t stuck yet. I’ve got him on serious rotation on the ipod, and often enough I find myself skipping over the twangy, whiny, odes. I think I’m listening all wrong, as so many musicians I love and respect like you really think he’s great. I’ll follow your lead and go back to “Master and Everyone.” Thanks for the push xoxo

  2. Well, like I said, I’m no expert and from what I read, Master and Everyone is not an album his die hard fans would recommend. But I do love it. There’s something just so peaceful about that record. And I’m yet to be disappointed by the things I hear by him. As for his live show. Well it was brilliant. Simple and brilliant.

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