Smog's Bill Callahan has a place in my personal pantheon almost entirely because of just two of his records, "Red Apple Falls" and "Knock Knock," made in '97 and '99, respectively (both, not coincidentally, were produced by Jim O'Rourke). Most of his other work, while on the surface not particularly different, has felt flat: I can think of no other artist whose music exists on such a fine line between profundity and soul-crushing boredom, and in recent years it has leaned consistently toward boredom. His latest album, "A River Ain't Too Much to Love," isn't a return to the form of those two classic records, but it's his best in years, with Callahan's cryptic wit and alluring, eccentrically clipped phrasing on full display. The track "I Feel Like the Mother of the World" has a background textural barrage of hammer dulcimer, a brilliant deployment of a dreadful instrument.
Daily Download: "I Feel Like the Mother of the World," Smog
New music from a cryptic master of song.
By Salon Staff
Published May 3, 2005 7:01AM (EDT)
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