Prince Meets Horses in a Double Review
Despite their country-sound, Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s album, Beware, offers up well thought out music accessible to fans of every genre. With fragile melodies and soft, smooth vocals, Beware has a folk sound without themes that might be off-putting to non-country fans.
Not without its flaws, the album does have some weak points, such as the unsettling change in mood from lighthearted to dark, which may annoy listeners. The first couple of songs are light and energetic, such as “You Can’t Hurt Me Now,” where “everyone knows the happiness I have…that’s the thing about happiness you can hold,” or “You Don’t Love Me,” in which the singer notes, “Sometimes you like the smell of me or how my stomach jiggles / But you don’t love me.” After these fun, airy songs, Beware takes a turn for the dark with “You Are Lost,” a slow, sad song, and remains melancholy for the rest of the album. The best song on the album is the finale, “Afraid Ain’t Me,” which is a smooth jazzy number full of wind instruments and drums.
Listening to Beware is like discovering an old record that is new to you, featuring classic sound and whole-hearted lyrics that are relatable and entertaining. Bonnie “Prince” Billy tells a story we all know, but with a fresh approach.
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With a name like Soy un Caballo, which means “I am a horse” in Spanish, listeners may be surprised that Les Heures de Raison is actually sung entirely in French and performed by a Belgian band. Soy un Caballo pairs dreamy voices and eclectic melodies with piano, acoustic guitar and a guest performance by the lead singer of Bonnie “Prince” Billy for an album that is nothing short of amazing. Their music is refreshing and sophisticated, without sounding pop and foreign.
The most intriguing song on the album is “Robin,” in which Kentucky native Will Oldham of Bonnie “Prince” Billy sings in impressive French. A fantasy-like duet with Aurelie Muller, this song conjures images of two birds playing peacefully together. Another notable song is “Les Vacances,” which spans the sounds and emotions of a tropical getaway.
Les Heures de Raison is universally calming, proving once more that music really is the universal language.