19 September 2013

19th September - Bonnie "Prince" Billy's The Letting Go

Artist – Album: Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Letting Go
Released:  19th September 2006
Sounds Like:  “First chill, then stupor, then the letting go”

In dark, dark America, there is a dark, dark town. And in the dark, dark town, there is a dark, dark street. And in the dark, dark street, there is a dark, dark house. And in the dark, dark house…Bonnie “Prince” Billy lives!

Bonnie “Prince” Billy, a.k.a Will Oldham, inhabits the blackest corner of America; a place of perpetual fear and nightmares. It’s from this underworld that he conjured up his masterpiece, 1999’s I See A Darkness. But it seems that even in when you’re in the bleakest areas love comes to you. The Letting Go is arguably his lightest album to date, a strange album that still contains his signature quivering vocals but is comfortingly supported by the beautiful voice of collaborator Dawn McCarthy of Faun Fables. Even the scarier tracks, such as ‘Cursed Sleep’ and ‘No Bad News’ (“Something bad happens and a lot of people go bad themselves, that's how awful it is”), find redemption in their tribulations – The curse of unrequited love in ‘Cursed Sleep’ is overcome by dreams, and the beautiful coda at the end of ‘No Bad News’ is damn near joyful and seems to quash the something bad that happened.

Some songs, such as ‘Love Comes to Me’ and ‘Wai’, have gorgeous lyrics, sometimes battered and beaten but still full of love; some merely sound brighter, disguising their real intentions – ‘Cold & Wet’, ‘The Seedling’. Throughout there is a more assured deftness of touch and a barely perceptible softening of tone. I See a Darkness remains the highlight of his prolific, fantastic career, but The Letting Go runs it close.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Love Comes to Me – 4:31
2.       Strange Form of Life – 3:46
3.       Wai – 3:37
4.       Cursed Sleep – 5:35
5.       No Bad News – 4:45
6.       Cold & Wet – 2:21
7.       Big Friday – 2:43
8.       Lay and Love – 3:50
9.       The Seedling – 4:36
10.   Then the Letting Go – 5:19
11.   God’s Small Song – 4:05
12.   I Called You Back – 7:53 

Listen to ‘Strange Form of Life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQ8TqXr7B0

Also released on 19th September:
1988: Cocteau  Twins – Blue Bell Knoll
Also released on 19th September:
1988: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Tender Prey

Also released on 19th September:
2006: Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

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