12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

 It can get quite confusing. Louisville, Kentucky’s Will Oldham has performed as Palace, Palace Songs, Palace Brothers, Palace Music, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and as himself, Will Oldham. The differences have been minimal. No matter the name, Oldham writes and records folk and country based tunes that blur the line between sincere homage and ironic detachment. He seems to take a page from the Bob Dylan playbook of preferring his band to be recorded live, fresh and unrehearsed in order to capture the ‘happy accident.’ However, his players are usually less confident and often stumble in spots making for some odd, jarring recordings that are either transcendent in their energy or a bit like the sound of a wagon falling off a cliff. 1997’s Joya, Oldham’s first official solo album, is typically loose and sprawling. “O Let It Be” begins things promisingly and Oldham uncovers a few genuinely sublime melodies throughout. “Antagonism” and “I Am Still What I Meant to Be” are strong representatives of his style. But he can get quite coy and obscure as “The Gator” and “Be Still and Know God (Don’t Be Shy)” take a little getting used to. But once acclimated, it’s quite an experience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

 It can get quite confusing. Louisville, Kentucky’s Will Oldham has performed as Palace, Palace Songs, Palace Brothers, Palace Music, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and as himself, Will Oldham. The differences have been minimal. No matter the name, Oldham writes and records folk and country based tunes that blur the line between sincere homage and ironic detachment. He seems to take a page from the Bob Dylan playbook of preferring his band to be recorded live, fresh and unrehearsed in order to capture the ‘happy accident.’ However, his players are usually less confident and often stumble in spots making for some odd, jarring recordings that are either transcendent in their energy or a bit like the sound of a wagon falling off a cliff. 1997’s Joya, Oldham’s first official solo album, is typically loose and sprawling. “O Let It Be” begins things promisingly and Oldham uncovers a few genuinely sublime melodies throughout. “Antagonism” and “I Am Still What I Meant to Be” are strong representatives of his style. But he can get quite coy and obscure as “The Gator” and “Be Still and Know God (Don’t Be Shy)” take a little getting used to. But once acclimated, it’s quite an experience.

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