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Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

5.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 14, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release. At the risk of being redundant, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle is about as beautiful an album as you can expect to hear sung circa 2009. Unfolding like a first view of paradise, then a slightly less ecstatic second view of paradise and then finally a glance back over your shoulder at that stupid paradise bulls*, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle surveys a landscape that grows organically, like the time two people spend together; or the time one person spends alone (with another). One way or another, it's awfully pretty.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 14, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B001Q2EIXG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By B. Bowman on September 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have owned this disc for less than a week, and have literally almost worn it out. I can't remember the last time I bought a CD and listened to it 30 or 40 times in such a short period of time without getting tired of it. I'm embarrassed to admit that until recently I hadn't heard of Bill Callahan, but this release has sold me on his talent. I'm also surprised to find out that a disc with such excellent arrangements and songwriting was listed on so many Best Albums of 2009 lists, as this type of music seems to be in short supply these days and rarely receives such accolades. This is definitely a collection of songs that should be heard as a whole, but I have to mention that there are certain songs on this album which bring a lump to my throat every time I hear them: "Rococo Zephyr", "Too Many Birds", "Faith/Void", and especially the album's opener "Jim Cain". These are songs that are too beautiful for words, and manage to capture the painful beauty that life is full of. There have been very few times in my music listening life when I really get blown away by an entire album, but this is one of those times. I live for these moments, it's why I buy so much music I guess. The first times I heard Nick Drake's "Pink Moon", Richard and Linda Thompson's "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight", John Martyn's "Solid Air", and Rage Against The Machine's first album come to mind. Those records had me captivated by the album art, the songs, the vibe...the whole package. "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle" belongs in that category, and if you are a music fan I highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
I have had this album for several months now and wore it out a long time ago. I recently purchased "Woke on a whaleheart" and was just as impressed.

Then....Bill Callahan's most recent live release "Rough Travel" brought me too a pitchfork review which brought me to a little band called Smog.

Smog is Bill Callahan and has a catalog about 10 albums strong. I now have "Supper", "Red Apple Falls", and "River Aint too much Love". And let me tell you. They are all three just as strong as Sometimes I wish I were an Eagle.

Hence, if this is your first Bill Callahan album and you are infatuated. Dig deeper. You have a long way to go!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is alternately pastoral, riveting, soothing and frightening. I own probably 85% of Bill Callahan's recorded output, and I think this might be my favorite of all his work.
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I bought this CD back when it first came out (based on his performance on an edition of the Tiny Desk Concerts (available on Youtube)) and I've listened to it regularly ever since then. It is one of the most beautiful collections of music I've ever heard and really sounds like nothing else that I know of, despite it's seemingly straight-forward, folky stylings. It's all about Bill: His unique point of view and his faith in his unhurried presentation of the material. Off-kilter but familiar; captivating and unsettling. And the arrangements are perfect for the songs! That is what I've been really amazed about recently. Although I am not familiar with all of Bill's output, I think this is the best single release he's had (followed by Dream River, I guess). If you like beautiful, thoughtful, haunting, disturbing music in the folk/Americana/Leonard Cohen vein (I guess), you should pick this up.
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I go back w/ Bill to the Smog/Suckdog split 7". As is the case w/ many greats, (Nick Cave & The Fall come to mind) after awhile, you loose track of thier greatness, and quit purchasing thier new stuff. More often than not, a big mistake. Fortunately, these days nothing "goes outta print". As good a record in it's genre as you'll find this or any year. Give the Saddle Creek kids their due, but they must bow to the master- Papa Bill. Every song on this disk has been my "favorite" at one time or another. Buy this disk.
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Format: Audio CD
I got into Bill Callahan's music by accident. I was surfing youtube, and saw a few videos that are part of a serious of Tiny Desk Concert produced by NPR. Callahan was one of the guests and performed three songs from this CD. Just three seconds into his music, I was mesmerized. His style is sort of close to Leonard Cohen. The lyrics and voice are introspective and poetic. The genius here is that Callahan is able to release the full power of the words and music with simple chords and melodies.
Highly recommended.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Bill Callahan is an underappreciated artist. His reverberant baritone voice, phrasing, true storytelling lyrics, and the surprises that await in each song make him someone you should really discover. And this is the place to start. This effort showcases all his strengths. If you are hesitant, check out Bill on YouTube and you'll be hooked.
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I had become fairly pessimistic about finding current folk/pop music-makers with lasting appeal for me. This disc made it on to a NY Times 10 Best List, and I gave the thirty-second samples a listen on Amazon. I am happy that I did. These songs and Callahan's mesmerizing vocals have dominated our house for the past week. Will it last? So much new music fades quickly for me...Norah Jones just being one of many who do not stand up to repeated listenings. Of course, that I do not know. Perhaps this will. At least for now it gives great pleasure.
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