The stark landscape of Will Oldham's album is the musical equivalent of King Lear's blasted heath (indeed, in "New Whaling" the protagonist is a monarch of sorts laid low by his own urges).
Divine betrayal is a salient factor: "Stop all the moaning and bemoaning of fate/ God isn't listening, or else it's too late," Oldham scolds in "Time To Be Clear", which has a lonely grace and simplicity akin to Leonard Cohen. The litany of hopelessness that is "We Are Unhappy" has "emptiness showing God's cruelty deployed". Elsewhere, "Cows", "There Will Be Spring" and "New Tibet" have the menacing, rustic mystery of Cormac McCarthy, while the slow country waltz opener, "No Match", is a Johnny Cash ambivalent-confessional, a style that suits Oldham well.
DOWNLOAD THIS: No Match; New Whaling; Time To Be Clear; We Are Unhappy
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