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Master & Everyone

Bonnie Prince BillyAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Price: $16.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2003 $8.99  
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Way 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise? 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Master and Everyone 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Wolf Among Wolves 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Joy and Jubilee 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Maundering 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Lessons from What's Poor 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Even If Love 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Three Questions 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Hard Life 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Frequently Bought Together

Master & Everyone + I See a Darkness + The Letting Go
Price for all three: $50.94

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  • I See a Darkness $16.98
  • The Letting Go $16.98


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 28, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B000083ME8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a.k.a. Will Oldham, is no ordinary bard. His writing, which can call to mind 19th-century American poets like Walt Whitman, has won him a cult of fans that include Marianne Faithfull, Björk, and Beck. Master's painfully fragile intensity is disconcerting and challenging, yet its purity and tenderness is soothing all the same. Dark, intimate, and sparsely arranged, it's a loose, meditative concept record that explores issues of gender, self, and love. Here Oldham trades in his familiar warble for a hushed, clear high tenor and a rock band for his acoustic guitar; ever-so-soft strings and keyboards warm up the arrangements while he is backed by Marty Slayton's sweet, feminine harmonies. Lyrically less dense than previous releases, Master does retain Oldham's typically quaint phrasings, as in "Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise?" and "Joy and Jubilee." With a few listens, these 10 oddly gentle songs will endear themselves, and perhaps prove Master to be Oldham's best and most personal work to date. --Jillian Steinberger

Product Description

The third full-length album under the BONNIE PRINCE BILLY moniker from roots-absorbed singer/songwriter WILL OLDHAM (PALACE). Ten deeply introspective songs of self-love, emotional struggle, and complex relationships, featuring backing from friends TONY CROW, WILLIAM TYLER, MATT SWANSON, MARTY SLAYTON, and brother PAUL OLDHAM.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Oldham Hurrah! January 30, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I recently pulled out my old copy of "There's No One What Will Take Care of You" and gave it a listen. That album is still outstanding but what's truly incredible is how much Will Oldham has evolved over just the last eight or nine years. Ever since first taking on the Bonnie Prince title a few years back he has reached a new plateau in his song writing. Where "I See A Darkness" was bleak and frightened and "Ease Down The Road" was drunken and melancholic, "Master and Everyone" is much more subtle album. It is more endearing than "Ease Down The Road" and at the same time more devestating than "I See A Darkness." It is a collection of some of the most resonant and profound songs I have heard in the last... well, ever. The writing and presentation work hand in hand to bring out the emotions this album inspires. At once a work of great beauty and great sadness, I can say without reservation that this album is my favorite of all Oldham's releases, and I've heard almost every last thing he's done. Only a talent like Oldham could make a line like "It's a hard life for a man with no wife" ring with deep resonancy and continue to haunt with a transcendant melancholy. Have you figured it out yet? I LIKE THIS ALBUM!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bonnie prince billy is king January 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This album, like most great albums doesn't jump out at you right away saying, "I'm a Great Album." Instead it sort of weasels it's way into your mind until you realize that you haven't taken it out of your cd player in about two weeks. Then you leave it in for another two weeks, because you finally realize how great it really is.

The pace of this album is very slow, and the instrumentation is minimal. It's the type of thing you'd play to just wind down and relax. But honestly, it's hard to relax when you're hanging off of every word this guy is singing.

Bonnie Prince Billy, in my opinion, is this generation's Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen as far as lyrics go. His lyrics on this album are the type that you may not get right away, but when you do understand what he's talking about, you love the album even more. Every song on this album is fantastic. At first listen, a few tracks seem to stand out more than others (not that any of them are bad), but as this album gets into your heart, you realize that every track is essential to the one behind it and before, therefore creating what I call a great album.

So Will Oldham, if you are reading this, please never stop making music.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully austere March 11, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Having long ignored Will Oldham's previous output due mostly to pursuit of music in other genres, but not immune to the seemingly endless stream of effusive critical praise he garners, I finally became overwhelmed with curiosity and decided to purchase one of his Bonnie "Prince" Billy albums. Most reviews of "Master and Everyone" cite "I See a Darkness" as Oldham's definitive artistic statement. Ultimately, I purchased both, and discovered they are very different albums, with very different merits to recommend them.
Having listened to both records several times now, I find myself far more impressed with this latest offering. "I See a Darkness" benefits from inspired contributions from talented collaborators, and the counterpoint Oldham creates between gloomy atmosphere and dark energy is terrific, as are the song structures and lyrics. Yet I believe "Master and Everyone" is a far more mature, intimate and above all else subtle piece of work. Perhaps not enough has been said about the production on this album. The gorgeous cello arrangement that underpins "The Way" serves as a lead for an album's worth of other austere and effective flourishes, including naked tambourine rasps, ghostly organ drones and even a well-placed accordian. These elements and others, together with the rich, sure quality of Oldham's voice, result in a work of tremendous control that is haunting and resonant.
It's been said that a great work of art is defined by how much of it you can remove without sacrificing its intensity. Lilting and refined, "Master and Everyone" is a sonorous study in perfect economy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ain't It All Good Enough to Sing? February 21, 2006
By r lee
Format:Audio CD
When critics reference Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, they tend to emphasize the shortcomings of everything following I See a Darkness. Heck, it's no wonder. Pitchfork's Samir Khan hit the nail squarely on the head, stating in his 10.0 review that ISaD is "not music." Indeed, that enigmatic album stands out as something of the "other"--from its skull-centered cover to its gypsy-funeral feel.

True, Master and Everyone echoes neither the ghost-folk eeriness of I See a Darkness nor the family-reunion feel evinced by its follow-up, Ease Down the Road. Nonetheless, when considered song-by-song, MaE represents BPB's most cohesive, melodic (though sparse) work. In fact, I would argue that it is--taken as an entire album--"better" than I See a Darkness.

Master and Everyone retains the gut-wrenching honesty set forth in ISaD. What it does in addition, though, is strip away the Halloween spirits and fiery chants. Rather, Master penetrates to the inner feelings that fuelled these chilling displays. One senses a strong degree of solitude in songs such as "Master and Everyone" and "Wolf Among Wolves". I cannot help but picture a broken man, sitting alone on his prairie porch, defeated by love, war, and/or life writ large.

This brokenness seems intense, yet it is not final. In "Maundering" and "Lessons...", BPB grabs hold of something--a hope born of faith, love, and humanity. The fact these songs feature little more than the barest of guitar strums effectively places our attention on the vocals--on the man whose ever-fluctuating cycle of direction and despair we are witnessing.

The album's closing track, "Hard Life", provides a fitting end to the sentiments expressed therein. Whether or not such is its intent, BPB's last number conveys a feeling of...
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't do it. Don't drink the koolaid. Don't. Please. No, really,...
It's rather easy to be prolific when all you do is spew garbage onto a record over and over and over again. I mean seriously. Over twenty-five albums of swill. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Soren
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best
Will Oldham is one of the great songwriters of this generation, and this record may be one of his best efforts--probably tied with I See A Darkness, I'd say. Strongly recommended.
Published 6 months ago by B. Linder
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy And Jubilee
I have always been a fan of acoustic guitar music, the subtle and raw power it entails. But this cd has blown the genre out of the water. BpB has a style all his own. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Tag6
5.0 out of 5 stars a million stars
A galaxy of stars. Sweet pure beautiful voice. Lyrics out of this world. "Hard Life" makes me cry, but in a good way, because it is true. Read more
Published on April 17, 2012 by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs for the Dead of Night
This is an album I find myself listening to again and again, with more and more love. To me, it is a classic. The songs are simple, deep, and strange, yet lyrical. Read more
Published on August 13, 2009 by K. Dain Ruprecht
3.0 out of 5 stars Somber limitation
BPB is this mangey alt-country artist in my favorite incarnation: refined and pronounced. The songwriting doesn't vastly improve but the conscious effort to parlay actual talent... Read more
Published on February 19, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I loved this album as I have most of Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince's excellent work and felt the need to write this after reading some of the reviews here. Read more
Published on December 20, 2007 by Douglas F. Hastert
5.0 out of 5 stars thanks, will
Every Oldham release is great and unique. But lyrically, musically, and in terms of his voice, this is an album that will be difficult for Mr. Oldham to ever top. Read more
Published on September 12, 2007 by bloodandfire
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and melodious
A very intimate cd not easy to categorize into the existing musical genres. Songs ranging from easy and gentle to very tense.
Published on March 19, 2006 by Boon
3.0 out of 5 stars Moody
This album is a moody album, not a lot of arrangement. Just Will playing guitar with an occasional background voice.

It's a great album, but not his best. Read more
Published on January 4, 2006 by M. Buisman
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Topic From this Discussion
What would be Bonnie Prince Billy's (Will Oldham) darkest album?
I don't know why you associate "upbeat" with "country". Two of Oldham's pure country songs come from I See a Darkness: "Today I was an Evil One" and "I See a Darkness" (the Johnny Cash version with Will Oldham backing vocals).

A lot of Oldham's records... Read more
Nov 4, 2009 by Stephen Ebrey |  See all 2 posts
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