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The Letting Go
 
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The Letting Go

17 May 2008 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £10.05 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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3:37
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5:14
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 17 May 2008
  • Release Date: 17 May 2008
  • Label: Domino Recording Co
  • Copyright: 2006 Drag City under exclusive licence to Domino Recording Co Ltd
  • Total Length: 58:11
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003JV04S0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,571 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The prolific prince of the indescribable, Will Oldham has shapeshifted his way through album after album of delicately profound Americana. It's often said that the mark of genius is the ability to be unbearably moving with very little, and Oldham's shortcomings as a singer and musician are also his greatest strengths. His music is elusive, resisting categorisation: you can call it folk, you can call it alt/country, but Superwolf, last year's collaboration with Matt Sweeney, was all smouldering sexuality and yearning blues.

This album is cooler and sweeter, recorded in Reykjavik under the aegis of Bjork collaborator Valgier Sigurdsson. The arrangements are more complex than perhaps we're used to from a Prince Billy album - strings, flugelhorn and piano spin a subtle but strong tracery of shapes around the musical themes. Singer Dawn McCarthy of Faun Fables provides an airy soprano counterpoint to Oldham's fragile growl, adding a clearer outline to many of the odder melodies.

The songs are as various as ever. Album opener Love Comes To Me is almost unbearable tender, breathing belief in human love in a world where religious faith has been lost. Cold and Wet has a bluesy, lubricious feel. No Bad News is redolent of 70s golden-age folk, Oldham's close-miked murmured intimacy contrasting with McCarthy's layered birdsong. Strange Form of Life has such a powerful instrumental hook that it seems more like a lead-off single than the haunted, Superwolf-like Cursed Sleep.

After a bit of a mid-section sag, the album really hits its stride again with the earthily rhythmic Seedling. The track which follows, Then The Letting Go is utterly exquisite, with McCarthy's vocal responses soaring like Sandy Denny's in The Battle of Evermore.
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Format: Audio CD
While this isn't the definitive BPB album [there is nothing here to match the majesty of I See a Darkness, for example], The Letting Go is a fantastic record, and one that rewards repeated listens.

At times it sounds very similar to Master and Everyone, Oldham's last album proper [before his Dylan-esque live album Summer in the Southeast and the collaborations with Matt Sweeney and Tortoise].

The difference here, and one that has polarised opinion, is the addition of Dawn McCarthy, who provides harmony on most tracks. Personally I think she sounds great, especially on Strange Form of Life and Lay and Love, for example. The overall sound is also rich and many-layered - a world away from the starkness of Oldham's early Palace recordings.

So, if not quite a masterpiece, then another fine album from one of America's greatest songwriters.
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Format: Audio CD
'Letting Go' is a significant step for Oldham, it is sung mostly as duets and features more instrumentation and variety than the minimal earlier albums. And it mostly works brilliantly.

Although almost lush at times, embellished by guitars or with the rumble of dark percussion (on the excellent The Seedling for instance) it would be a mistake to think this is a total change of tack and the songwriting is at times as clear and postic as on 'Master And Everyone'. However the album is also imbued with a vague sense of strangeness, the backing vocals of Dawn McCarthy are sweet but somehow slightly 'disconnected' and the very English folk lilt of her voice is an effective counterpoint to Oldhams sweet lisp.

If being picky the album drifts a little towards the end, and why the final track (which actually rounds things off well) should be 'hidden' after a long delay is beyond me.

All in all possibly the best work he has done to date.
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Format: Audio CD
don't know what all you naysayers are going on about. It might even be my favourite Will Oldham album - yes, including There Is A Darkness. Deffo the best thing he's done since then, at any rate. Having read reviews I was expecting the backing vocals to drown out everything, but they are well-placed in the mix throughout. Aren't they? Well, I like it.
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By Brian Hamilton TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Will Oldham aka Bonnie Prince Billy is a man of many musical shadings. His talent is beyond question yet the accessibility of his work often leaves people feeling like they have missed something.

As a previous reviewer said, The Letting Go is perhaps his most accessible work and this album should be the first port of call for someone wanting to look into his oeuvre.

The first couple of tracks are absolute standouts, 'Love Comes to Me' and 'Strange Form of Life'. I cannot describe how these made me feel when I first head them, just beautiful slices of whispered folk music that is accessible and instantly engaging.

Due to the low key nature of many of the tracks on offer here it is essential that this is listened to on a good setup. As my headphone/amp has slowly scaled up over the years my appreciation for this material has grown as there are so many previously unnoticed nuances that come through on a good system.

Oldham has the rivalled ability to channel a gamut of emotion from tender longing to bittersweet regret without ever raising his voice beyond a close-to-the-mic drawled whisper. The assured pluck of steel guitar, fretboard squeaking, even the odd creak of studio furniture is all here, an intimate and heartfelt paean to the mysteries of life and nature.

If you are looking for something to while away a Sunday morning whilst sipping coffee and lounging around, this is it. A slice of obscurica but very accessible.

Beautiful.
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