Beware - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Beware Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: Will Oldham's latest album under his Bonnie "Prince" Billy moniker features appearances by such guest as Wilco's Leroy Bach and Mekons' Jon Langford.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 92
    The mood is undeniably American, and Bonnie (or Oldham) seems incomprehensibly at peace with his hallmark solitude. [Winter 2009, p.91]
  2. His songs float along like dust in the afternoon sun, less driven to move forward than just to be.
  3. The enigmatic nature of his music aside, Oldham invariably sounds like he's having fun making it, which makes Beware a warning only to those who place too high a value on simplistic clarity.
  4. If the man’s curious oeuvre hasn’t already provided reason enough to pay attention, it’s doubtful Beware will convert anyone to the fold. But for those already attuned to Oldham’s songcraft, Beware is a rich and fulfilling work from a man who seems to have a paranormal grasp on human nature, with all the sensuality, God-fearing, tummy-rubbing and head-scratching that implies.
  5. 70
    Oldham remains mostly untroubled on Beware, accompanied by an array of instruments--marimba, cornet, banjo, and flute swirl around placid country-tinged ruminations.
  6. The bleaker sounds on this album suit Oldham better, with 'Heart's Arms'' sad, ghostly drone showing how less can say more.
  7. The unspecific lyrics are flatly whined in the manner of a depressed old codger falling asleep. Tempos stay sluggish and melodies meander, often parodying bygone rural music — funeral hymn here, waltz there.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. shawnw
    Mar 19, 2009
    10
    At last heartfelt, direct lyrics that have understandable meaning and depth. i can't imagine he will ever make another record, perhaps At last heartfelt, direct lyrics that have understandable meaning and depth. i can't imagine he will ever make another record, perhaps an instrumental one. Expand
  2. christianp
    Mar 19, 2009
    9
    Everything this man touches is aching and lovely.
  3. clayh
    Apr 4, 2009
    9
    Solid effort by Billy. This album is not as uneven as "Lie Down in the Light". It seems more grounded, more real and yes it's good.