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coverpic flag US - Kentucky - Full Moon 154 - 04/09/09

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Beware
Drag City / Domino / EMI (distr.)

Will Oldham has released music since 1993 under different names, such as Palace Brothers, Palace Music, his own name and - most notably - as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Here's his fifth release under that name. To be frank, his name changing is not due to new musical routing, he's just been... changing name from time to time.

So, if you're familiar with anything Oldham has done, there's nothing on Beware that will shock you. On the other hand, I think it's a more solid collection of songs than on his previous three records. Even a more well produced and arranged record as well.

One of the finest feats, that covers almost every song on the album, are the choir-arrangements and backup singers lifting songs to a level that might resemble the fabulous voices from Leonard Cohen records. Oldham's outstanding abilities as a songwriter is evident in beautiful pieces like "You Can't Hurt Me Now", "You Are Lost" and "I Am Goodbye".

Over all, I believe Oldham might have aimed for country records from somewhere around 1930, before going into the studio. The beauty of it is that he has managed to recreate that feeling, with an up to date sound.

(See our archive for more B'P'B reviews - editor's note)

Copyright © 2009 Anders Svendsen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Bonnie 'Prince' Billy articles/reviews: Ease Down The Road, I See A Darkness, Master and Everyone, Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco, CA, 13.04.2002.

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