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A ten song bummer in super hi-fidelity sound. Bill's "Kingdom Come" album. Perfect mood music for your next romantic late night date with a twelve pack, or a gun.
One of the more hauntingly visionary indie-rock artists, Bill Callahan, a.k.a. Smog, writes sparse, poignant songs that shimmer with solipsistic grandeur. His sixth full-length disc, Knock Knock, shivers with restlessness, recounting forlorn tales of imprisoned convicts ("River Guard"), disenfranchised country boys ("Hit the Ground Running"), and unrequited love ("Left Only with Love"). Smog is too well-produced to qualify as lo-fi anymore, but the rich strings, chiming piano, and baleful strums of Knock Knock never detract from the workingman's loneliness of the disc. Like Neil Young's Tonight's the Night, only without the nasal vocals, the album is serene and sedate but nonetheless unsettling, as if the collective scene Callahan creates is merely the calm before the storm. Fortunately, when the melodies seem to drift too close to comatose, the shuffling beat and drifting feedback of "Held," the distorted chug of "No Dancing," and the jangly strum of "Cold Blooded Old Times" keep the needle from flatlining. --Jon WiederhornSee all Editorial Reviews
Bill Callahan's lyrics have hung in my head like beautiful antique wallpaper for the years between hearing this album. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Cassidy
Smog's Knock Knock is a consistently strong and massively overlooked album. There's not a bad song to be found here and about half of these songs are flat-out brilliant. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Erik Bateson
First heard Smog's music in a little cafe, from waiter's MP3 (?) and HAD to get it. Love his subjects, lyrics, sound. Cool stuff.Published 7 months ago by S. Nelson
Came one day after I expected it, but still greatPublished 11 months ago by Maria Clara Montoya Olaya
Love the positive reviews here; this is a beautiful album.
Bill Callahan has the special ability to conjure big pictures with a small amount of words, while allowing space for... Read more
These plaintive indie exercises connect a little better than other releases but are still too sleepily repetitive to elicit any real energy.Published on January 16, 2010 by IRate