Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bill Callahan: Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

Artist: Bill Callahan
Album: Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
Date Released: April 14, 2009
Genre: indie-rock, alternative singer/songwriter, low-fi
Rating: 8.1

Review: Bill Callahan, the artist formerly known as Smog, has returned to more familiar territory on Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle: this album is moody, laid-back and devoid of frills.

As always, his low baritone is front and center, teasing the listener with his limited range. The arrangements are light, spacious and warm, providing a beautiful accompaniment to Callahan's striking voice.

Lyrically, Callahan is somber, angry and introspective. Indeed, it's the strength of the lyrics that power Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle. His statements and repetitive phrasing demand attention. On "Jim Cain" he sings,

Well I used to be darker
Then I got lighter, then I got dark again
Somethin' to be seen, was passing over
And over me
Well it seemed like a routine case at first
With the death of the shadow, came the lightness of births
In the darkest of nights, the truth still dazzled
And I work myself, until I'm frazzled
I ended up in search of ordinary things

But my favorite lyrics come on "Faith/Void," where he explores some more existential territory:

This is the end of faith, no more must I strive
To find my peace, to find my peace in the lie

It's time to put God away
It's time to put God away, I put God away

Callahan's my new hero.

1 comment:

  1. note: album name is "Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle". Best.