Critical Writings -> Academic Journals -> Articles & Reviews

Articles and Reviews: MUSIC

The Letting Go by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (Domino)

Recorded in Iceland with the aid of Faun Fables’ singer Dawn McCarthy, the darling of this genre (a.k.a. Will Oldham) delivers his best album since 1999’s I See A Darkness. By turns warm and soothing, e.g. ‘Love Comes To Me’, and old school bluesy, e.g. ‘Cold & Wet’, the prevailing atmosphere is of the bleak and rigorous climate where it was realised, never more so than the chilling tale recounted in the title track, ‘Then the Letting Go’. Although no other critic appears to have picked up on it, this nomenclature seems to be a direct reference to Emily Dickenson’s poem #341, ‘After great pain, a formal feeling comes’, which climaxes with the suitably icy stanza: ‘This is the Hour of Lead - / Remembered, if outlived, / As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow - / First - Chill - then Stupor - then the letting go – ’

First published in Magill, February 2007

















Critical Writings
Travel Writings