The Letting Go

This self-styled prince Bonnie ”Prince” Billy, otherwise known as Will Oldham, has experimented recently with unusual settings for his wounded, woodsy vocals, from gleaming Nashville country (2004’s Greatest Palace Music) to studio-fractured rock (2005’s The Brave and the Bold). On The Letting Go he returns to more familiar territory, strumming spare elegies on acoustic guitar. His warmth is complemented by chilly accents, including chamber-group strings and high harmonies from folk singer Dawn McCarthy. The effect is soothing, though it crosses the line into uncharacteristic blandness at times.

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