Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Revinylization Project: Bonnie "Prince" Billy

One listen is not enough for an artist like Will Oldham. I am going to reserve the right to make further judgment at a later date. However, the songcraft and musicianship of this album is as good as any Oldham has put out. In that way, it reminds me a lot of the last Silver Jews record. "I Am Goodbye" is maybe my song of the year to this point...behind Animal Collective's "My Girls" and just ahead of M Ward's "For Beginners".

No card for a download fell from the sleeve when I shook it, but there was a poster (pictured below). Not enough bands put posters in their packaging. Of course, considering the age of Oldham's core audience and this record's appealing adult contemporary sound, I'm not sure if this was the best choice. I may hang it in my garage.

Lyrics are ingeniously included as photos of hand-scrawled notes pinned to a knotted-pine wall. On the reverse side of this insert is a photo of a life-sized dollar with the phrase "Seek the wolf in thyself" scribbled across the top. Wolves seem to be a regular theme in Oldham records.

The album does not have a ominous tone for the most part, but you'd never guess it from the cover. It's about the creepiest sketch of Oldham I've ever seen. Plus, the title is "Beware". The back side features an amateurish painting of an erupting volcano. Oh, and the serial number for the album is "dc666". I sense a theme.

I guess I already mentioned the poster. I should have waited to share it here. Oh well.

The record features a colorful label. The watercolors match the volcano painting on the sleeve. Side A features colorful rings of green, blue, and red. Side B features the impression of a skull. Have I mentioned a theme?

Will Oldham is one of our last untouched treasures. The man is incredibly prolific, but everything he puts out is soulful and beautiful. The first listen didn't take. However, I know enough about Oldham to realize that this record will be a grower.

Doubtful Sounds


GE said...

I didn't even realize this was out yet. Looking forward to it...

comoprozac said...

I don't know that it's out in stores. I pre-ordered it from Insound.