Lie Down In The Light - Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The eleven original songs all sound distinctively unique and yet, uniquely familiar all the same. And even when Oldham covers a song, he is able to make it sound like one of his own.
  2. The songs are full, lush, even sparkling, and their teeming arrangements--woodwinds, electric piano, summer-afternoon copulations of banjo and violin--are the best of his career.
  3. Lie Down In The Light is the sound of a musician at ease, quietly and calming experimenting with his sound and subsequently coming up with his finest work to date.
  4. Lie Down may be Oldham's most country record of new songs in years, and it's also one of his most accessible and least academic records.
  5. This maturation of lyrical character is the Bonnie "Prince" Billy we would hope for and expect at this juncture in his career. While there may always be a darkness, it's refreshing to bask in his newfound light.
  6. No shocking directions or paroxysmal about-faces, but Lie Down In The Light is still some glorious stuff, expectations met and mettle once again tested.
  7. 80
    Lie Down In The Light is his most coherent LP since the bleak masterpiece "I See A Darkness." [Aug 2008, p.85]
  8. Their second track focuses on Oldham's other great theme, death, and ranks among the finest songs he has written in his 15-year career. The rest of the album is as you'd expect from his twisted majesty: expressions of human futility, belligerent solipsism and awestruck hymns to God, backed with country sounds redolent of moonlit nights, sawdust-strewn saloons and horses' hooves.
  9. At times the Crosby, Stills & Nash-­inspired harmony bits come off slightly overbaked, but if Oldham is angling for a summery feel-good sound that will go down well with Americana fans without alienating his sad sack indie rock fans, I’d say he knocked it out of the park.
  10. Will Oldham gets back to the country.
  11. They’ve made a mature record, with steady hands on the tiller.
  12. These 12 songs are beautiful in their bucolic simplicity, and elegant, too, in their tidy melodies and warm flickers of emotion.
  13. '(Keep Eye On) Others' Gain' and the title track sound similarly hopeful. The gloom is still there on 'You Remind Me of Something' and 'Willow Trees Bend,' but it feels less crushing. There is also more variety to the sonic textures.
  14. The brisk bout of choral sighing that rounds off ‘I’ll Be Glad’ provides an effective grace note for this hugely likeable record, if underlining slightly the notion of Lie Down In The Light as a worthy, somewhat minor addition to Oldham’s formidable oeuvre.
  15. The arrangements and production are all stunning--like with "Master and Everyone," the performances are so intimate and recorded so well you can hear floorboard creaking in spots--but the tunes are a touch uneven.
  16. Lie Down In The Light is still slightly marred by this uneven pace.
  17. Lie Down In The Light is arguably the most various of the records since the own-songs covers album, but it illustrates one of the perversities of Oldham's songwriting. [July 2008, p.45]
  18. 60
    'Easy Does It' is pleasant and clever rather than emotive and memorable, like so much of this album. [Aug 2008, p.114]
  19. While not without its pleasures, particularly in its first half, the album seems to find the Bonnie ‘Prince’ just a little too much at ease for his (and our) own good.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. RyanaB.
    Jun 21, 2008
    Great album.
  2. NadavG.
    Jun 9, 2008
    Amazing album.. so many beatiful moments and successes.. pure love for this album.
  3. RogerD.
    Jun 8, 2008
    Eight outta ten, already.