Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, is the type of alt-country musician who has spent the past two decades avoiding such stereotyping. His approach is full of curveballs designed to keep you guessing which way they’ll break. Old school country, mountain folk, and modern day rock electricity fuse together in unpredictable patterns all skewered to make the most of Oldham’s unusual, parched voice. For Beware, he enlists an accomplished set of backing musicians who reach towards the type of loose and funky country music of the “outlaw country” movement of the ‘70s. Wah-wah guitars, flutes, and violins pass through the background while Oldham swoons to crooners such as “I Don’t Belong to Anyone” and “You Are Lost,” and even rocks out a tad for “You Don’t Love Me” and “I Am Goodbye.” His lyrics forever vacillate between clear-eyed heart-tugging sentiments and enigmatic epigrams that suggest a man who reads philosophy textbooks next to his issues of Field and Stream.

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