Speakers Push Air

The 2009 Top 20 Albums Of The Year: #2
December 30, 2009, 2:36 pm
Filed under: 2009 Top 20

I used to be darker, then I got lighter, then I got dark again

Number 2: Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

The last Callahan album, Woke On A Whaleheart, was a rare disappointment from Mr Smog, and I’ve scarcely played it since I first got it (maybe I should revisit…).

Luckily, Joanna Newsom dumped poor Bill and he’s “got dark again”, which is great news for us, if not him. Like Hawley at #3, Sometimes.. sees Callahan expanding his palette in a big way (if you haven’t followed his progress, it would be hard to connect this album with his early, none-more- lo-fi albums). There have been so many brilliant Smog / Callahan albums so I wouldn’t stick my neck out and make any claims for this being the best (is that Red Apple Falls? Dongs Of Sevotion? Knock Knock?) but it’s a brilliant and endlessly involving set, with a pair of openers that are true classics – I’d love to hear Leonard Cohen tackle Jim Cain, and the Cloudbusting-esque momentum of Eid Ma Clack Shaw, in which Callahan thinks he might have written the greatest love song, could be the best track I’ve heard all year. I guess its closest companion in this chart is the Hawley album, although I suspect Callahan’s world is an even bleaker place.

Still, Joanna Newsom, eh?

Entirely Gratuitous Joanna Newsom Photo

Bill Callahan – Jim Cain

Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw

(Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, Drag City

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