The Letting Go

Studio Album by released in 2006
The Letting Go's tracklist:
Love Comes to Me
Strange Form of Life
Wai
Cursed Sleep
No Bad News
Cold & Wet
Big Friday
Lay and Love
The Seedling
Then the Letting Go
God's Small Song
I Called You Back
Ebb Tide

The Letting Go review

Another masterpiece to the collection of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s albums

American singer, songwriter and actor Will Oldham has never been in the habit of recording under his own name, and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is only one in a whole list of his monikers, the most well known being Palace, Palace Music, Palace Brothers and Bonny Billy. Oldham began composing and performing in his early twenties, however, none of his songs have ever revealed his age, surprising the audience with mature and wise texts and substantial music. He has been normally referred to the number of alt country artists, and lately his creative work has acquired some traits of folk as well. Will seems to like changes in everything: originally coming from Kentucky, he considers Baltimore, Maryland, his home, and the new album The Letting Go has been recorded in Iceland with producer Valgeir Sigurosson. The singer’s rich vocals and interesting, deeply philosophical lyrics make The Letting Go an unusual and complicated record with which Will Oldham is adding another masterpiece to his collection of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s albums. The controversial work is simultaneously filled with humorous and terrifying details, and the strange and vigorous music produces a very strong and unforgettable impression.

Melancholic tunes and relaxed sounding have become the base of The Letting Go

On the new album Will Oldham once again turns to his beloved themes of religion, relations, death and violence, but here they are hidden behind melancholic tunes and relaxed sounding, which have become the base of the album. The expressive female backing high tone vocals from Dawn McCarthy create an interesting resonance with Oldham’s felt singing throughout the whole The Letting Go. Starting with the penetrating opener Love Comes To Me, the record passes over to a more intensive composition Strange Form Of Life, which surprises with a complex melody and vivid images. The strings are really amazing on song Cursed Sleep, as well as the tragic lyrics easy to remember. The artist gets closest to country on a lyrical ballad No Bad News, while Cold & Wet is rather a blues composition, frank and stylish in all respects. The love theme appears on a slow track Big Friday, sparkling with funny details, while another relations song Lay And Love pleases with the unusual rhythm of percussion contrasting with the vocalists’ plangent singing. The album’s most aggressive and loud track The Seedling prepossess with its raw emotions, and the partially title song Then The Letting Go describes a winter picture with snow, loneliness and depression. God's Small Song is one of the album’s most complicated compositions quite difficult for apprehension from the first time you hear it and the final song Bonus Track reminds of a band’s rehearsal completely and completely persuades the listeners that The Letting Go is a non-standard album.

For Will Oldham there seem to be no borders

Nowadays there are not many musicians able to combine the unusual character of their music with the commercial success. As for Will Oldham, he definitely belongs to their number, and The Letting Go is another proof of the fact. Listening to the album you can’t get rid of a feeling that this kind of music is going to become classic in some time, though today the artist surprises with the confidence heard even in the most strange, almost experimental moments. The singer performing under the moniker Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy seems to be a professional in every new direction his creation takes, for his voice on The Letting Go sounds confident and at times quite careless. Yet if one listens carefully it becomes clear that this manner of performance has been carefully thought over and is intended to create the contrast with the tense female vocals. The result licks all creation. On the one hand, The Letting Go is a melancholic record you would play on a rainy or cold day, idling at home, and on the other hand it is able to disturb your equanimity and touch your soul with the emotional lyrics. For Will Oldham there seem to be no borders and the new album is another impressive breakthrough.

(06.10.2006)
Rate review4.28
Total votes - 7


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