Bill Callahan – Dream River

Album Review by Stu Lewis | 06 Sep 2013
Album title: Dream River
Artist: Bill Callahan
Label: Drag City
Release date: 16 Sep

Much like Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's recorded output, a new Bill Callahan record will always be met with absolute reverence, even if its content isn't particularly memorable. Where 2009's Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle positively soared, follow up Apocalypse seemed to be lacking its predecessor's vitality. 2013 finds the former Smog man somewhere in between – Dream River isn't without its high points, but it adds little to his songbook.

As ever, Callahan's world weary singing style still feels like he's taken you personally aside to offload his troubles. His rich voice dominates proceedings with subtle arrangements unravelling around him, with the resigned calm of Small Plane and Ride My Arrow being classic Callahan. Spring is an interesting curio, where a cheeky flute morphs into hissing guitars and the deadpanned line 'All I want to do is make love to you' sounds almost menacing. Dream River could have done with a few more daring moments like it. [Stu Lewis]