Bill Callahan, 'Apocalypse' (Drag City)

Critical Mass
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Label: Drag City

by Mike Powell

Bill Callahan sings deep and plays slow, and it's easy to mistake his patience for sadness. His 15th album - counting those as Smog - is a spare, rambling mix of country, blues, and '70s rock, but it detonates with lines so direct they barely sound written: "I kepthoping for someone to ask me, 'Who do you think you are?' / So I could tell them." The stoic bluntness also harbors a startling intimacy: When Callahan describes a pile of demos on a hotel bed as "my apocalypse," it's like the thought just dawned on him.

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