Record Review: Will Oldham — ‘Songs of Love and Horror’

On Songs of Love and Horror, Will Oldham revisits multiple decades of his own music, re-envisioning songs from his Palace and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy monikers, this time just with an acoustic guitar and his voice. The newfound, extra, dead space creates a powerful juxtaposition with his melancholy, haunted singing style, luring the listener to hang on to every syllable and sound. The new version of “I See a Darkness” sounds more sweet and nostalgic, while “Ohio River Boat Song” is turned upside down. “New Partner” reminds you how good of a singer Oldham is, while “Big Friday” reaffirms his expertise in melody. Releasing acoustic versions of old songs could have resulted in something tired and stale, but Oldham turned it into a vibrant and exciting project.

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