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Lie Down In The Light

Will Oldham gets back to the country

Rating: 8 / 10

Peter Murphy, 11 Jun 2008

Yippee! It’s harvest time again on Bonnie Billy’s farm. Actually, the prevailing wind is closer to Comes A Time. Will’s doing downhome on this one, with sawing fiddles, jaunty guitar, subtle percussion and the occasional honky tonk guitar solo. The opening ‘Easy Does It’ is so upbeat it’s borderline disturbing; following fast on its heels is ‘You Remind Me Of Something’, an eerie little wifebeater vest of a song, garnished with words as odd as two left feet. Both tunes serve as an analogue for the album entire. What follows is a series of gnomic updates on early ‘70s Californian stoner-country-folk (‘So Everyone’, ‘Keep Eye On Other’s Gain’, ‘Where Is The Puzzle’) alternated with rustic log cabin homilies (‘For Every Field There’s Mole’, ‘What’s Missing Is’, ‘Willow Trees Bend’) pitched right at the point where woodsy psychosis is about to set in.

The overall effect is, as I say, somewhere between Nashville and Laurel Canyon Neiler, with a sizeable dollop of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sweetheart-era Byrds and maybe just a hint of weird Northern English folk. If you’re looking for an alternate soundtrack to Deadwood’s glorious weave of bawdiness, mortality and dread, look no further.

Me, I’m holding out for a Poco revival.

Key Track: ‘Where Is The Puzzle’

Rating: 8 / 10
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