Sunday, November 27, 2011
Bonnie Prince Billy Attends The Wonder Show Of The World
The man, the myth, the legend that is Bonnie Prince Billy has returned once again with a new album entitled The Wonder Show of the World. As per usual, Bonnie takes the rustic, countrified route into folk heaven and does a pretty decent job of getting there. No big changes then, but that shouldn't be a surprise because he is Bonnie Prince Billy after all. What is new and different is that this time around Bonnie Prince Billy is accompanied by the Cairo Gang who have assisted him in creating the austere and homely world in which his songs live.
The Wonder Show of the Worldis a pastoral stroll through the Bonnie Prince Billy songbook that at times is almost upbeat. But if you know anything about anything then you know that happiness is not a word that is synonymous with Bonnie Prince Billy. What is synonymous with this nearly legendary songwriter is the pastoral and nearly primitive musicianship that accompanies him. The Wonder Show of the World is packed to the gills with pedal steel, electric guitar, and vocals that long for lost love somewhere else. The Wonder Show of the World is a charming album that sounds like traditional Americana from an age long since past. In other words, this is an album that is dusty, dear, downtrodden and the soundtrack to much heartbreak and soul searching.
From the painfully titled, "Teach Me To Bear You," to the the anguish of, "The Sounds Are Always Begging," Bonnie Prince Billy sounds as if he's had a bad time of it yet again. In fact much of this record seems to be chronicle of depression and relationships gone wrong that unfortunately sounds bloody fantastic. Hopefully, one day Bonnie Prince Billy and his heart will belong to someone for an extended period of time, but until that day arrives we can all celebrate his pain especially if it sounds as good as it does on The Wonder Show of the World.