Life Is People - Bill Fay

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Dec 14, 2012
    Life Is People is superb. [Sep 2012, p.84]
  2. 100
    Truly, the album of a lifetime.
  3. Dec 14, 2012
    Scrub away reputations and this album is so much stronger than the latter-day works of many of Fay's contemporaries.
  4. Dec 14, 2012
    Even when he's pouring on the lushness, the producer keeps Fay's gentle, weathered voice and arresting lyrics front and center. [No.91, p.54]
  5. Dec 14, 2012
    The result a stunning, profound, moving and soulful record.
  6. Dec 14, 2012
    Ultimately, it's that compassionate vision of song that resonates through Life Is People, as Fay observes the passing of the days with redemption in mind.
  7. Jan 7, 2013
    He has come up with a gem of a record, heartfelt and true, that hopefully will get him some of the attention he richly deserves.
  8. Dec 14, 2012
    Fay has lost none of his ability to capture the wonder of life in his words.
  9. Dec 14, 2012
    An awe-inspiring experience. [Sep 2012, p.100]
  10. Dec 14, 2012
    Life is People sounds familiar, but never tired. It's a difficult line to tread, but Fay and his guests largely pull it off.
  11. Dec 14, 2012
    At the risk of overstating the case, Life Is People--the work of a 69-year-old family man, and the work of a lifetime--confirms its maker's own thesis.
  12. Dec 14, 2012
    It is not a comeback record but a late continuation, a great work of art.
  13. Dec 14, 2012
    Fay consistently finds beauty in the world and is not afraid to express such sentiments. There are also moments of very real sadness--but a hard-won wisdom and acceptance cuts through.
  14. 80
    Fay's songs sound as if they've simply been hanging out in the ether for all these years, just waiting to be put to tape.
  15. Dec 14, 2012
    It may be a bit heavy-handed, but it will no doubt thrill fans that probably assumed this day would never come.
  16. Dec 14, 2012
    As stirring as some of the material is, there are a number of tracks where the weighty lyrical themes are coupled with languid and ponderous melodies which drag the pace right down to a deathly crawl.
  17. Dec 14, 2012
    Although Fay's fan base is likely to remain meager, those who Life is People touches are unlikely to hear a more inspiring album this year.
  18. Dec 14, 2012
    Ultimately, Life Is People is a series of contemplations that suggests a life lived; only after 40 years has Fay finally allowed himself to distill these observations into music. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.110]
  19. Dec 14, 2012
    Life is People does have its missteps, but even those don't sap the album of its undeniable charm.
  20. Dec 14, 2012
    These songs work a gentle charm, reflecting on life and mortality with an unhurried grace.
  21. Dec 14, 2012
    It's not without a few syrupy moments, and it would be a push to recommend it over the old records, but there are some fine songs here.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 27, 2012
    It might have taken 40 years however the wait is absolutely worth it. A stunning piece of work which I woul dhighly recommend. Thanks to Bill Fay :¬) Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2013
    This year is truly spoiling us with great albums and ‘Life is People’ by Bill Fay is another brilliant record to add to the list. Contained here are twelve songs that burst with vibrancy, skilful song writing and moments of absolute musical joy. From the Bunnymen jangle of ‘This World’ to the gospel tinged ‘Healing Day’ and the epic string laden ‘Cosmic Concerto (Life is People)’ which could have come off a bit hippy but manages to stay on the right side by being just honest and beautiful. Lyrically Fay deals with the amazingness of life and his place in it, anchored by love and faith, but for every high there is a low and he spends a lot of time reminding us that despite the wonders that surround us we are only here to enjoy them for a fleeting time and ‘The Coast No Man Can Tell’ which closes the album feels almost like an epitaph. But don’t let that put you off for every poetic lament on our end there is an equally bewitching take on the now. There is even a Wilco cover ‘Jesus Etc’ which with Fay’s warm vocal sounds even more heart achingly tender than the original. Considering this is his first album for 30 years I hope you will agree with me when I say that I don’t want him wait that long again. Call it what you will, be it luck or fate, but I am so glad that Fay has been given another chance at musically unravelling the universe and given the world this remarkable album in the process. Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2013
    Honest and uplifting in all the right places, gentle and thought-provoking. This is a beautiful album worthy of repeated listens during the rough patches in life. Full Review »