Another foray into the troubled mind of Bill Callahan

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Smog – Supper

One wonders whether Callahan will ever again do anything as sublime as “Prince Alone In The Studio”, from the still-to-be-capitalised-on baroque chamber Americana of 1995’s Wild Love. The tentative pop entryism evident on albums like 1999’s Knock Knock is largely absent here; instead we have his gruff baritone take us through an increasingly uninteresting outlook on love and life. “Butterflies Drowned In Wine” tries to be avant-garde Dire Straits, but lacks the authentic duende of Jim White. Highlights are the eerie “Our Anniversary” and the quite fabulous, out-of-tempo prayer “Driving”, which, with its freeform drumming and banjo commentary, forges previously unimagined links between The Carter Family and Pharoah Sanders.