Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Will Oldham, the guitarist-singer-songwriter behind Palace Music and its various incarnations (Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and plain Palace), is not a rocker by any stretch of the imagination, nor even a particularly go... more »
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Will Oldham, the guitarist-singer-songwriter behind Palace Music and its various incarnations (Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and plain Palace), is not a rocker by any stretch of the imagination, nor even a particularly good musician. But despite (or perhaps, because of) his limitations, he manages to make disarmingly unique and effective recordings. Palace music, whether buffeted by the slide guitar and banjo of the 1993 debut There Is No One What Will Take Care Of You or framed by the piano figures and low-tech Maya Tone drum machine heard on Arise Therefore, always sounds as if it teeters on the edge of oblivion, one whimper away from breaking down and one languid, creaky note from crumbling completely. While Oldham's hiccuppy blues tendencies have led critics to brand his Palace music somehow Appalachian, the Louisville-based former actor probably doesn't know enough about song forms to imitate them effectively. But his strained voice and low-fi folk approach to what's essentially indie rock do create the illusion that he's fronting a rustic mountain jug band. Still, Oldham's delicate poetry reveals lyrical sophistication. You know there's something a little more postmodern going on. --Roni Sarig
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Member CD Reviews
Scott J. from SEATTLE, WA
Reviewed on 7/23/2015...
Will Oldham, aka Palace Music, has a fairly diverse catalog that's mostly sad music. This is an average album, not one of his finest, and doesn't seem to have much flow.
Recline and arise
Scooter | Washington, DC USA | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wish I had the patience to review every Will Oldham record. The man knows how to write a song. Were there a lyricist's word for prose poetry, it would be a good way to describe the form, I think. Oldham has a captivating narrative style, the way he combines words, the surprised in the middle of an anecdote, suddenly brutal or sexual. And such charming, funny titles, which may or may not have anything to do with the songs.
Half of the songs I'm not confident I understand, but I think it's like trying to understand an abstract painting. The undestanding comes in being somewhat passive to the song. I love this particular record because of its consistent mood: heavy, pensive, seductive. No big drum crashes or guitar solos. The words hang like smoke. Spread out against the bong water stains and hit play."
Jo K. Oats | London | 04/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like this album. It is good.
Yes apparently, despite not being an ahem, particularly good musician, Will Oldham somehow (how? how?) has managed to create fragile yet effective and emotionally resonant music. Wow, quite something for someone who is not a musician (presumably making music is not quite enough to make someone a musician...) So, how could an amateur who apparently doesn't know enough about song forms possibly have made music that was moving and made one think etc? Perhaps it was luck, a full moon, ANYTHING except the skill of the artist. Here's a bombshell: when art has an effect on you, it is because someone has spent a very long time, thinking very hard to make something very specific. Then, the traces of effort, the signs of the artist's hand usually have to be disguised, to enhance the power of the work in question: (books, music painting etc). The effect is not an accident (and yes I know all the Death of the Author stuff....) Here's another bombshell; maybe Will Oldham knows more than it sounds like he does, and maybe his songs are indeed full of intertextual references, walking the line between knowing and referential and using a rustic and homespun aesthetic for a purpose? To put it another way, when you watch a magician do a trick, do you credit "magic" or the performer's skill in creating the effect?"