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Bill Callahan
Have Fun With God - DRAG CITY
FILTER Grade: 85%

By Jon Pruett on February 11, 2014

 

Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan’s Dream River is still fresh in our hearts and while many of us are wondering if it’s his best album or just the most evocative, here comes a full-on dub reworking. Now, don’t run and hide or presume that this is Dream River with new-improved “riddims.” This is that album, largely the same in structure, just kind of ripped apart and put back together with large (very large) amounts of echo and reverb. Callahan’s vocals ease in and out, key phrases like “beer and thank you” and “you look like worldwide Armageddon” float through in a drowsy reverie. It’s a testament to how much Callahan has evolved that an album under his name can exist with his vocals largely absent. The productions have become as much of the imagery as his songwriting—which is crazy considering just how painfully stripped bare his early Smog recordings were. But this works on the strength of the band, the dark eloquence of his songwriting (even in fragments). Let’s cross our fingers the next pressing comes with rolling papers.

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