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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldham does it again
Will Oldham is a very rare thing in this day and age - an artist of genuine calibre who seems unafraid to continue making music to satisfy nobody but himself. He is by nature a fickle beast - after ten years of what some refer to as 'alt-country', his definitive brand of under-produced acoustic based recordings, his last album was something of a curveball, employing a...
Published on 17 Jan. 2005 by andrewhardy50

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgent
Didn't think much to this album but I only bought it for one particular track and new what I was doing so no complaints to the makers.
Published on 11 Dec. 2009 by Paul Morris


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldham does it again, 17 Jan. 2005
Will Oldham is a very rare thing in this day and age - an artist of genuine calibre who seems unafraid to continue making music to satisfy nobody but himself. He is by nature a fickle beast - after ten years of what some refer to as 'alt-country', his definitive brand of under-produced acoustic based recordings, his last album was something of a curveball, employing a full session band to revisit fifteen of Palace Brothers 'greatest hits and give them a polished Nashville sheen. The gamble paid off - Oldham managed to prove himself an extraordinary songwriter, the songs power holding up even without the mood inducing melancholy which the lo-fi backings had managed to instill on the original versions of the songs.
And so Oldham's decision to team up with long-term friend Matt Sweeney - ex-Slint and Billy Corgan's ill-fated Zwan - may take some by surprise. Oldham's major contribution here is lyrical, as he takes a back seat and allows Sweeney to come up with the music. For the most part the results are fantastic.
Anybody who has heard any of Will Oldham's previous work will know that it does not always make for easy listening, and the eleven selections on Superwolf are no exception. Oldham uses his whole palette on this album. Opener 'My Home Is The Sea' is something of a false start, Oldham has deliberately placing the most accessible and best produced track at the start of the album to lull the listener into a false sense of security. 'Beast For Thee' follows, its lush sounding arpeggios recalling the sound of Mogwai. The harmony vocals provided on this track by Sweeney are exquisitiley arranged, as they are throughout the album.
'What Are You?' shows Oldham's more comical side, as he threatens to 'take you over my knee, and spank you mercilessly.''Goat and Ram' is the track which sounds most like Palace Music, its gentle drum backing given it something of a tribal feel, before giving way to something similar to Slint.
'Bed Is For Sleeping' is possibly the standout track on this album. It's lyrics are typical wistful Oldham:-'where are you going? why are you leaving? Left on a walkway, to swallow my grieving?'
Oldham and Sweeney save their greatest epic until it is alomost time for them to leave - 'Blood Embrace' is a brooding piece almost eight minutes in length, its mood summed up within Sweeney's opening guitar hook. The lyrics find Oldham questioning the stability of his love :- 'does she test me does she know? that i would sooner turn and go? and find another if that is what she'd have me do.'
In the past, Oldham has tended to lighten the mood with his closing tracks - Rich Wife Full Of Happiness on Ease Down the Road and Hard Life from Master and Everyone. Not so here - 'I Gave You' is a bitter lament to somebody who has wasted all that they have had provided for them, Oldham cursing the person who he has 'given ten lives, when you wasted twenty.' The last lines of the album are genuinely haunting with Oldham stating ' You have vanished into the air, the air in which I must live.' As the last lines of the album fade, the sense of loss which has pervaded the whole album from the opening ' I have often said, I would like to be dead' stays with the listener.
Somehow, despite the heavy content of the lyrics, Sweeney's music is a perfectly fitting accompaniment and the two elements together make this an album that is really worth playing over and over again. It's only the third week of the year, and Oldham and Sweeney have already provided us with a serious contender for album of 2005.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars knocks you sideways, 28 April 2005
By 
amy (the land of the brave and bold) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superwolf (Audio CD)
as an old -time fan of mister willy o, i was excited to check out his latest offering, written and performed with his old buddy matt sweeney. the result is this: a beautiful, at times melancholy, uplifting, soothing, and golden-hued piece..less DIY than his old stuff, but the clarity [as opposed to fuzz] of his 'new' sound makes for an altogether different, but equally enchanting, musical experience...
ten out of five, hands down
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superwolf, 1 Feb. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Superwolf (Audio CD)
From the first notes of this album I knew it was gonna be a favourite of the year for me. I love Oldham's unconventional lyricism anyway, coupled with Sweeney's guitar I thought it was divine. The first few tracks are certainly more cheerful than the last few...but how can you have an oldham cd without a few darknesses? It's certainly an easier way in to his stuff if you havent heard him before...you'll be hooked...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply majestic., 30 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Superwolf (Audio CD)
I bought this on the strength of Lauren Laverne's 'Headphone moment' when she played 'Blood Embrace' on her 6music show recently, and it completely blew me away.

Not something that happens very often these days - must be my 40 something years.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that some of the best music out there in the great wide yonder is commercially unsucessful (Tindersticks, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mazzy Star, Archie Bronson Outfit to name but a few).

This album is sublime and has been 'on repeat' since postie dropped it through my letter box.

Please refer to the other, more knowledgeable, reviews for a track by track breakdown, all I will add is that there isn't a weak song anywhere in sight.

I haven't been this excited by a 'new' CD since Portishead's 'Dummy'.

Real shame that I missed the boat when it was first released.

All good things come to he who waits !

Miss this at your peril.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a fine piece of work., 18 Jan. 2005
By 
Lee (london, central london United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superwolf (Audio CD)
This is a good piece of work the two match each other perfectly, classic Oldman lyrics and melodies, wit a little bit more rock and roll from Sweeney. This album is more alive than the previous album but still retains the intimacy with the lyrics. If you're an Oldman fan you won't be disappointed, if you're new to him and his work this is a good introduction. Well worth the purchase.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgent, 11 Dec. 2009
By 
Paul Morris "Unclemo" (Ventnor ,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Superwolf (Audio CD)
Didn't think much to this album but I only bought it for one particular track and new what I was doing so no complaints to the makers.
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