Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down In The Light

For Lie Down In The Light, released in 2008, Will Oldham appeared to have loosened up considerably.   It opens with the jaunty, countrified strum Easy Does It.  The album is hardly party central though.  You Remind Me of Something is more typical Bonnie Prince Billy, a dark, folky tune featuring fiddle with a nice backing vocal from Ashley Webber.  The songs here are generally of high quality, So Everyone is a fine duet between Webber and Oldham, and the gently picked guitars of Missing One make it an undoubted highlight.  A little quirky instrumentation can lift a seemingly run of the mill track to greater heights, the clarinet solo in For Every Field There's a Mole is a case in point.  Country influences cone to bear on the laidback duet What's Missing Is and the gentle steel guitar in the background of the electrified Where Is The Puzzle?

But it's not till late into the album that the strongest material appears.  The title track harks back to the simple, skeletal folk of 2003's Master and Everyone, with the piano part in particular acting like a welcome blast of chill air.  Willow Trees Bend crawls along charmingly at a snail's pace, gorgeous sighing guitars seemingly taking an age to not really get anywhere.

So not quite a standout Bonnie Prince Billy album, merely a pretty good one.