Tag Archives: pablo picasso

Bill Callahan “Dream River”

Bill Callahan

Dream River

[Drag City; 2013]

Rating: 7.7

If Bill Callahan were a painter, he would be Pablo Picasso.  Besides the obvious presumption that Callahan has never been called an asshole, the connection can be found in the span of their respective work.  While many musicians find a definitive sound and make a career out of it, Callahan is a constantly changing songwriting machine.  Like Picasso, Callahan has gone through various stages, refusing to languish in mediocrity.

Callahan’s early 4-track forays were much like Picasso’s early days as a painter – flawed yet promising.  As his Smog sound developed on albums like Wild Love and Knock Knock, he reached his “blue” period (stark subject matter presented in through distorted, bluesy melodies). Solo album Woke On a Whaleheart would be Callahan’s “rose” period (warm and adventurous soul music), Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle would be his Neo-classical album (drawing inspiration from ancient cultures and their totems, not to mention the heavy use of classical strings), and Apocalypse would be his surrealistic album (an unpredictable and jarring presentation of The End).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Album Review