Bonnie "Prince" Billy & the Cairo Gang
The Wonder Show of the World
Drag City Records
Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy) has a devoted underground following. And because of that, I thought I'd be floored by The Wonder Show of the World, seeing that it's my first experience with the man. I wasn't, even though there is nothing - zero - wrong with this record. It's slyly beautiful without glomming it on. It's technical in the right places and simple in the right places. On some songs, Oldham and his band are able to achieve the same chilling quietness as Iron & Wine (without being so whispery). Songs are lyrical poems and tall tales of wonder and amusement. It is in the lyrics that Oldham is at his strongest and wittiest. Like on "That's What Our Love Is," he sings, "the smell of your box on my mustache." Wait, what? Oh. Oh my. That came out of nowhere and totally made me blush.
Recommended Download: "Troublesome Houses"