The Wondershow Of The World - Bonnie "Prince" Billy & The Cairo Gang
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The record is an achingly beautiful paean to companionship, whether musical or romantic, but it also embraces the mess of togetherness.
  2. There are ten fine new songs here, each beautiful and sorrowful, sparse and complex, sacred and profane: this is what to expect from a new record by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
  3. The spacious production lends The Wonder Show… an appealing as-live feeling, an intimacy that Oldham has often turned to his advantage in the past and does so again here.
  4. 80
    Slowly, these immensely crafted songs bed in, emerging as some of the best and most accessible that Oldham has ever written. [May 2010, p.84]
  5. More than most Bonnie "Prince" Billy records, this is one of those austere records, filled with lyrical archaisms -- fans will think first of Master and Everyone -- but Kelly and company prove a capable foil for the monolith of Oldham's rustic songwriting and singing.
  6. The Wonder Show of the World turns over life's topsoil to find the truths beneath. [May 2010, p.122]
  7. The record's songs maintain Oldham's characteristic simplicity and sparseness that hearken back to the now ancient songs of American music's past. All the while, this familiarly fresh set of arrangements gives Oldham's restless phrasings the virgin textures upon which to project cryptic and fearless lyrics.
  8. The Wonder Show of the World is the kind of album that rewards persistence.
  9. Dec 21, 2010
    75
    The Wonder Show of the World, his eleventh release in half as many years, is everything for which we hope in a new Bonnie "Prince" Billy release: creeping yet expansive alt-folk; an ever-strengthening voice; erotic imagery ("The smell of your box on my mustache") paired with thoughts on family, never uncomfortably; a stark, doodled cover; a doting collaboration.
  10. This is arguably Oldham's most austere record to date, but there's much to dig into.
  11. Tilting the record The Wonder Show Of The World intimates that this musician who moonlights as an actor may be blurring the line between his dual worlds, which is just fine when the results are this satisfying. [Spring 2010, p.68]
  12. The music (which is credited to the Cairo Gang) is in a soft folk vein and sounds as though it were designed to be complementary to Oldham's lyrics rather than to showcase the Cairo Gang's own talents.
  13. It's not quite diminishing returns, but more a sense that Oldham's going round in decreasing circles.
  14. With Emmett Kelly and Shahzad Ismaily forming a trio, this is wistful, soft rock reminiscent of Neil Young, James Taylor and even Bread.

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