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Album Review

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Letting Go, The ” – [Drag City]

Thurston Hunger   10/13/2006   A Library, CD

Well this just feels like a comfortable shirt, you know one
of your favorites, in a kind of happy disrepair. You like
the way that cuff is frayed, and there’s plenty of memories
and stains that won’t come out. For Will Oldham, being able
to bring folks into the fold like Fable’d Dawn McCarthy and
the mighty Jim White is just plain good casting. McCarthy’s
voice is so lovely, and to my ears plays no fewer than three
characters on this, including a whale on “God’s Small Song.”
Oldham is in fine and varied throat here as well, his lyrics
take a short-story writer’s eye to spot the details lying on
the floor, draped over the radiator. People inside people,
being saved by the one you were meant to rescue…and a
whole lotta love, like early in the relationship, when you
give her your old comfortable shirt to wear. This fits nice.
With shadow echoes of the Brave and the Bold (“Cold & Wet”
both lyrically namechecks and soundchecks it! In any other
hands this would be warmed over Redbone.) Drag City oft
releases some timeless gems, and this is another one; send
it back in time to Southern California in the early ’70s.

-Thurston Hunger

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