Rain On Lens


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. From the opening few seconds of 'Rain On Lens' you just know this album is going to be a classic.
  2. Magnet
    These quiet, stripped-down songs are so narcotically enticing that when an occasional burst of moderate-volume guitar noise pops up unexpectedly, the effect is excruciating, like wires burning in the brain. [#52, p.102]
  3. Without a doubt one of Callahan’s most inspired collection of songs to date.
  4. This album is a study in repetition and rhythm, the same kinds that Callahan first toyed with on songs like "Bloodflow" and "Justice Aversion" from Dongs of Sevotion.
  5. A harsh, almost hollow collection of songs, that are as darkly unsettling and violently disaffected as anything our rather self-absorbed Chicago-based outcast has committed to tape thus far.
  6. The Wire
    At the heart of Rain On Lens, [Callahan] comes clean for the first time: Smog is subjective, not omnipotent. Hardly a psyche stripped bare, but at least it's a start. [#211, p.65]
  7. Rain On Lens remains essential listening for devotees of the rock 'n' roll underground, supporters of assured self-expression, and those captivated by the monochromatic.
  8. Much of Rain on Lens sounds remarkably detached, and the end result is an album that, while musically excellent, lacks the impact of the pre-parentheses days.
  9. Alternative Press
    While it isn't his best work, Rain on Lens shows that Callahan is proving to be frustratingly hard to pin down, but capable of unleasing brilliance at any given time. [Nov 2001, p.94]
  10. Mojo
    Dour, sub-Velvets melodies and droll, haiku-like lyrics tinged with desperation. [Sep 2001, p.110]
  11. There have been dark records by Chicagoan Bill Callahan. There have been wilfully obscure ones too, but there has never been one as single-mindedly dour as this.
  12. On the surface, Callahan sounds like he's getting out more.
  13. Q Magazine
    The only life in these monochrome songs comes from some feedback on Lazy Rain and squalling jazz horns on Revanchism. [Oct 2001, p.130]
  14. Rain on Lens isn't awful, but boy, is it a long way from The Doctor Came at Dawn.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 21, 2013
    First of all, I should disclose that I'm a huge Bill Smog fan, and I love (almost) everything he's done. 'Rain On Lens' has a unique sound, myFirst of all, I should disclose that I'm a huge Bill Smog fan, and I love (almost) everything he's done. 'Rain On Lens' has a unique sound, my mate described it as "swamp songs", quite different from any of his previous or later works. The critic review by Neumu.net describes the album, both it's musical narrative and the artist, quite well, better than I could have, he's obviously a big follower of Bill's also. Yet I love it, and he doesn't, gave it a 3/10. The critic is absolutely spot-on when he says 'Rain On Lens' ain't no 'Doctor Came At Dawn', though few albums ever made by anyone could come close to Doctor's sparse, haunting, and stunningly intimate, baroque atmospherics. He falls down somewhat by panning 'Dongs Of Sevotion', another brilliant Bill Smog album, but that's a matter of personal opinion, I guess. Anyway, listen to Smog, I find it cathartic. Full Review »