Bonnie Prince Billy

Lie down in the light | Drag City
By RYAN STEWART  |  October 27, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
Long-time fans of prolific country-folk icon Will Oldham, a/k/a Bonnie “Prince” Billy, will likely be surprised to hear Lie Down in the Light. As the title might suggest, it explores a less gloomy side of Oldham, leaving behind the elegiac æsthetic of 2006’s The Letting Go and 1999’s landmark I See a Darkness in favor of a more laid-back Americana vibe. The opener, “Easy Does It,” is downright sunny, with Oldham singing “I wander and lay in whatever old bed/With good earthly music singing into my head” in a charming falsetto; it might catch some listeners off guard with how content he sounds. “(Keep Eye On) Others’ Gain” and the title track sound similarly hopeful. The gloom is still there on “You Remind Me of Something” and “Willow Trees Bend,” but it feels less crushing. There is also more variety to the sonic textures: the horns on “So Everyone” and steel guitar on “I’ll Be Glad” add to the classic-country feel, and a clarinet offers an unexpected twist on the otherwise unremarkable “For Every Field, There’s a Mole.” It still sounds a little spooky, but at least it’s a friendly ghost this time.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Will Oldham, Bonnie Prince Billy, Prince (Musician),  More more >
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