Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Similarly Requested CDs
Up the garden path
David Kipp | Melbourne, Australia | 06/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Julius Caesar was my point of entry to the music of Bill Callahan. Chan Marshall (who moonlights as Cat Power), on her record par excellence What Would The Community Think, covered Callahan's song Bathysphere, upon listening to which it was my firm (and perhaps foolhardy) resolution to go out an album - any album - by the guy. This I did, my record of choice being Julius Caesar (though "choice" is perhaps the wrong word to use here, given that the aforementioned was the only Smog album in the shop).My first experience of Julius Caesar was somewhat bewildering - I wondered how someone who had written a song of such claustrophobic melancholy as that in which Bathysphere is drenched could make a record that on first listening seemed to be a farrago of smart-arsed tomfoolery. I soon learnt, however, that blithely making such an assumption had been the easy way out. On scraping away the veneer of snide wordplay and toppling the daunting sonic barrier that the evidently budget recording had erected around the record, I began to fully realise Callahan's gift as a songwriter and the strange and terrible power that his music with which his music would eventually grip my heart. The journey began with Chosen One (which, it could be argued, is possibly the record's most accessible piece) and continued by way of the eerily suffocating Stalled On The Tracks and the heart-on-sleeve simplicity of Golden, finally reaching its conclusion with my realisation that, goodness me, while I Am Star Wars! and When The Power Goes Out might be arrant musical pranks, they were nonetheless fine songs. I in fact should to like to take this opportunity to heartily exhort God to bless Mr Callahan for, by gum, he has a sense of humour that is a welcome blessing in today's world of pretentious artistes and that has survived seemingly intact from the early days of Julius Caesar until the present (q.v. his hilarious explanation of Knock, Knock's cover art - featuring a fierce-looking feline against a background of lightning - as designed to appeal to his teenage audience). While Julius Caesar may for me lack the jaw-dropping emotional clout of such works as The Doctor Came At Dawn, Kicking A Couple Around or Red Apple Falls, it is yet an album that I treasure and into which I delve time and again. I have yet to find a record that so deftly admixes witty cynicism with brittle, uneasy melancholy."
cart ruckbus | baltimore, md | 05/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"smog really means bill callahan, who is a weird sort of guy who writes songs about his emotions and other things he likes. this is one of his first albums and i happen to like it a good deal. at first i thought it was kind of silly, but then i listened to it some more and still thought it was silly but liked it a lot better too. plus i like the title and the cover and everything."
Primo Early Smog...meet Strawberry Rash
David Kipp | 05/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Callahan is a genius. You will not like Julius Caesar at first. I promise. Why? Well, at first it just seems annoying. You feel like asking yourself what the hell this guy was thinking when he made this. You had better have some tolerance for lo-fi. From all that I've heard, Callahan recorded this album at home on a four-track, and it sounds like it. But once you get used to that (unless you love lo-fi, like me) you find some songs that are just wonderful. Callahan is one of the unspoken poets of our generation."