Newman’s arrangements, first of all, have never seemed quite this obvious and theatrical.
The lyrics are all terrific; the beats, not so much.
It’s the album that has the phrase “blowjob queen” on it and the singer’s nipple on the cover, but it’s so much more.
These stories are playful and imaginative, but David Berman’s genius also extends to pathos.
Though he says otherwise, it’s hard to think of an American songwriter as admired by fans and critics as Berman.
Will Oldham’s music under the Bonnie “Prince” Billy persona, though often rollicking or hilarious, is never entirely sanguine.
Nouns will leave you wanting more.