8. Bill Callahan – YTILAER
Maybe it is the year of Bill Callahan. It really is the year of a songwriter for me and you will see Bill on my list twice. This album feels like a slow burn movie. And the movie is brilliant only because it’s a slow burn. You return to it over and over again for it is intriguing and rewarding and always offers something new. That’s what’s happening on the musical compositions of this record. From the lyrics to the very subtle quirky musical things that are happening. Some don’t even feel on beat they are so interesting.
I love the song “Partition”. It is so deep. So profound. So lovely.
On Partition, his largely acoustic band settles on a droning, insistent two-note riff. Arranged differently, it could sound smoothly hypnotic in the manner of Krautrock, but here it feels agitated, punctuated by flurries of twitchy drumming, suggesting that the means of coping with modern life listed in the lyrics – from meditation to microdosing – are sticking plasters rather than remedies. The other emotion his accompanying statement talks about rousing is anger, or rather, “a better anger, to get out of this … dissociated rage that destroys the community”, a subject Reality takes to with considerable gusto. – Alex Petridis (The Guardian)
The 19th album by Bill Callahan – or the 23rd if you count the lo-fi cassette-only releases he put out in the days when he called himself Smog – comes with an accompanying statement. In it, the 56-year-old singer-songwriter addresses his post-pandemic audience: people who, as Reality’s opening track beautifully puts it, are “coming out of dreams …
Great insight as to what is happening in Bill Callahan’s life that is reflected in this album is in this pinned Pitchfork review.
Reviewed: October 17, 2022 On his third solo album in as many years, the wise and stoic singer-writer extolls the virtues of the sacred and the mundane. Over his last few albums, Bill Callahan has been pondering his role in the universe. Lover, father, son; marriage advocate, neighbor, cosmic tour guide.
Drag City: making records since the second death of “Paul McCartney,” also covered up. In it for the music, hoping you will use it. The power and the poverty, in one good right jab – what’s left? Glass houses, people – not to mention glass jaws!