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I See a Darkness

Bonnie Prince BillyAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Price: $15.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 1998 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $15.86  
Vinyl, 2007 $18.86  

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.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. A Minor Place 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Nomadic Revery (All Around) 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. I See A Darkness 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Another Day Full of Dread 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Death to Everyone 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Knockturne 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Madeleine-Mary 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Song for the New Breed 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Today I Was an Evil One 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Black 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Raining In Darling 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

I See a Darkness + Master & Everyone + The Letting Go
Price for all three: $47.93

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  • Master & Everyone $15.78
  • The Letting Go $16.29

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Palace Records
  • ASIN: B000066HI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bonnie "Prince" Billy's first full lenght LP cuts the umbilical chord witht the grim reaper's musical cleaver.

Will Oldham, the artist formerly known as Palace, has never been concerned with creating pop music. Oldham's forte, murder ballads, antispirituals, dead-sea chanteys, and lost-love songs, has always been "difficult," forcing the listener to confront some rather unseemly topics. Say this about Oldham, however, despite his quirks (cracking vocals, shambolic instrumentation, baroque language), at its best, his music is bracing and, often, very beautiful. That said, I See a Darkness, his second LP since abandoning the Palace moniker, is the most accessible, gorgeous, and moving record of his career. Instead of the gothic, low-fi country feel of many of his projects, Darkness comes off sounding like an early-'70s Neil Young album, comprised of a stately piano backbone and fleshed out by loose-fitting guitar strums. Stylistically, Oldham mixes things up on Darkness and his full band sounds, for once, well practiced and well recorded. Sure, Oldham is still singing about the blackness of his soul, but in between--in small bursting moments--there are bits of light, hope, and a suggestion that maybe--just maybe--there may be redemption through love. That message, presented in these carefully constructed, gently offered songs, pushes this recording beyond the usual, curious appeal of Oldham and into an entirely new realm of greatness. S. Duda

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SPOOKY GEM November 10, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (aka Will Oldham) creates the scariest take on country music imaginable. In fact, this could easily be labelled 'goth country'.

His lyrics are intensley personal and his voice a deep and dark wonder. His songs are carefully crafted and arranged in an obscure warmth and frailty.

On some occasions the songs creep along steadily, on others errupt into soaring climaxes of double tracked vocals on the brink of collapse. These climaxes don't play on the usual tricks of severe dynamic change or string sections, but rather involve escalations in emotive force that ripple through you.

Will Oldham is a master songwriter, and an expert at creating sound collages and textures not usually associated with country music.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this music will take your words from you August 3, 2004
By Davy
Format:Audio CD
one of the best albums....................ever. any genre, any era. my god, what a knock out. this is the latest musical persona of will oldham (whose illustrious career began as "palace/palace music/palace brothers") and many say it's his greatest achievement yet. i knew within ten seconds of first hearing this record that it had to be true. every song reaches in and squeezes the heart, gets all tangled up in your insides. you know what's great about this record? every single haunting track is memorable and affecting. every one. there isn't a single track that fades into the background...and that is a rare treat these days. and the fact that a tune as staggeringly vibrant as "a minor place" can co-exist so easily with smothering odes like "i see a darkness" is just amazing. it is, in many ways, like life.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty of fragility September 23, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Will Oldham combines soft and fragile melodies with atonal voices. He shows the beauty of error and the crushing power of tenderness.
Like almost everything that is "REALLY" good, you have to learn to appreciate this album. With every listening session there is something new that strikes you and slowly reveals the full beauty of this music.
This is a true jewel, in desperate need to be treasured.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
First off, if you like Taylor Swift, signed Oprah's no texting pledge and enjoy watching "Dancing With The Stars", you probably won't like this album. Matter of fact, this album will be your personal anti-christ. So don't listen before going to church on Sunday. But I dare you to listen while driving home hazy at 4 am thinking woulda-coulda-shoulda thoughts when drunken spirits are dancing and the girl is crying at the bar and you struck out big time. This album is aural absinthe.

Strange moods this album evokes, usually dark, eerie, weird, out-of-place, awkward, but strangely beautiful too. The soundscape reminds me of a strange man walking through mountain mist, singing to himself...people avoid him because he really has problems. He stares at you and keeps singing. Creepy cool. Wanna see the darkness? The album title is absolutely congruent with the sonics.

This is one of a handful of truly classic releases in the past 10 years. Most people won't understand it, but anyone can feel it. Listen to it to calibrate your emotional gauge. Lay back, clear your head, let the mist enter your ears. If you don't feel a degree of emotional drain, then check your heart, thump it, make sure your still alive.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spare Brilliance June 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
On first listen I was disappointed with this album. I expected melancholia but not like this. After a few more spins I figured out what I had missed. This is the most beautiful album. Absolutely the best, it can be sad, it can be hopeful, it can be everything. Will Oldham sounds real, and his reality is haunting and beautiful at the same time. The music is minimalist and sparse which only contributes to the beauty and dynamic of the record. It is one of the best albums of the 1990s and I recommend it to any true music fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopeful, Sad, and Extremely Beautiful February 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is my first review of a Will Oldham/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy album. I chose to review this album first because I think it's simply my favorite in his catalog that I've heard.
I would say that 90 percent of this album sounds exactly like my thoughts throughout a normal day. It's sadly beautiful and hopeful simultaneously. "I See A Darkness" is the type of song that makes you want to reflect on life and your inner thoughts. It's an ode to life.
These songs are sung with such heartfelt beauty and passion that's almost immeasurable to compare this with any other artist. Will shares a lot of his thoughts and feelings with us in his music. He has a "no-holds barred" approach that is sure to catch any listener's attention.
All the songs on this album are part of something bigger. One listen and you'll know that you've found an album with integrity and purity. It will probably get you through a lot of times in your life if you allow it to. Either way, this will be an album that you will not soon forget.
"Death To Everyone" is one of the most powerful tracks on this album. It also happens to be one of my favorites as well. If it absolutely doesn't pierce your soul, you may not have even been listening and don't deserve to go any further with this album. I would assume that most fans have heard Will's other work and most put this at very least towards the top. Oldham has really paved a path for what he wants to get across in his music. I would venture to say that people will study this work for many years to come.
If you've heard of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy/Will Oldham or are intrigued by what you've heard about him in general, this is definitely an album you should check out. Of course, he's got so many I guess you could start anywhere. Are any of them bad? No. My opinion would be to start here. If you don't become instantly fond of this work, you may not need to get anything else by him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars best folk album in recent history
This is probably the greatest work of one of the best (and most underrated) songwriters of the past few decades. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Derek Sackler
4.0 out of 5 stars moody and wonderful
I just picked this up on vinyl and I have to say its one of those albums that you listen to once and think "huh?". Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by J. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intimate Experience
This album normally gets lumped into the genre of "folk" or the even more broad "indie rock," but a more fitting classification would be "collection of songs that haunt you more... Read more
Published on January 16, 2011 by Drake Mallard
4.0 out of 5 stars Still escaping shadow
Often regarded as his greatest, and can that be blamed? For that rare album, BPB tunes all his minimal elements of alt-country despair deeper, and paired with his fleeting ability... Read more
Published on March 21, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic
My favorite all time musician. Listen to him every chance I get. Often slow brooding melodic music that sinks into yer bones. Great songwriter that crushes anything out there. Read more
Published on November 14, 2008 by Ricardo Gardeazabal
3.0 out of 5 stars Primitive Emo
I listened to "I See A Darkness" four times before I decided to review it. As a fan of Dan Reeder, I have a fondness for "American Primitive" which I believe this album is. Read more
Published on September 22, 2008 by L. Bullock
3.0 out of 5 stars Moody yes, but lacking in dynamics
This is the first CD I've heard of his, and I purchased it on the strength of reviews and word of mouth. It is moody yes, but there really arn't any dynamics within the songs. Read more
Published on January 6, 2008 by Andrew Veale
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart, but an incredible listen
I'm an avid music fan. I've listened to quite an array of rock and pop throughout my life and I can say without hesitation that this disc is unlike anything I've ever heard. Read more
Published on December 3, 2006 by Jeffrey T. Duda
5.0 out of 5 stars Polished
For an avid Will Oldham fan like me this album started as a surprise. It actually sounds good! The sound is now more polished, the music not recorded at once and the voice not as... Read more
Published on December 29, 2005 by M. Buisman
5.0 out of 5 stars Yo, Willy Oldham Is Off the Hizzle fo' Shizzle!
Sorry, that was insipid.

Anyway, few albums this good and this affecting from the late 90's come to mind. Read more
Published on February 13, 2005 by S. R Spencer
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Opinions on B.P.B
For the first album, I would suggest "Viva Last Blues," which he released under the "Palace Music" moniker.
Nov 27, 2010 by Holt Pridgen |  See all 2 posts
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