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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Bonny "Prince" Billy
Master and Everyone
Palace Records/Drag City

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The cover of Master and Everyone, the latest release by Will Oldham (aka Bonny "Prince" Billy, Palace Brothers, et cetera), sparked my interest and curiosity immediately. For an individual whose signature trait is being cloaked in obscurity I was initially surprised to find such an intimate close up of Oldham's face gracing the album's cover. Upon further inspection however, one notices that the color palette is faded, the image looks worn; his glazed over, stoic eyes appearing mysteriously detached. My interest piqued, I could not wait to delve into the album's interiors and see what certainties I could divine from the infinitely enigmatic Oldham this time around.

In addition to his abstrusity Oldham is also known for his deeply personal yet evasive music and his sharp, biting wit. His past work has revealed Oldham as an emotional vagabond, wandering drunkenly through infidelity and lamenting death, love, loss and experiencing perverse, morbid vulnerability. Oldham is perpetually evolving as an artist, a fact that Master and Everyone confirms with its simple and stripped down form. The album is notably soft with little instrumentation beyond Oldham's vocals and sparse guitar. Although this release is overtly simplistic, evocative of a handful of traditional folk songs, it is unmatched in its lyrical and thematic complexity.

Oldham opens with the somber proclamation "Winter comes and snow/ I can't marry you you know/ without children to grow..." His voice is soft and hypnotic, his intonation and manner of address, although melancholy, are oddly comforting. Oldham seems to possess a certian eomtional sapience, knowing that along with every failed experience of love goes the infinite wisdom and elation that can only be gained by being drawn into the very center of loneliness. He focuses on the juxtaposition of intimacy and isolation, presenting painfully beautiful tales of the inevitable tragedy inherent in loving someone. These songs on Master and Everyone are endearing, heartbreaking and above all bittersweet.

While Oldham may be unable to find lasting comfort and love it is obvious, and unquestionable, that he is enamored with his music, and we are all better and deeper people for having the pleasure to listen.

Reviewed by Danielle Marusa
A resident of Malvern, Pennsylvania, Danielle is an occasional contributor to LAS.

See other reviews by Danielle Marusa



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