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Arise Therefore
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Performer Notes
  • Palace Music includes: Will Oldham (vocals); David Grubbs (piano); Ned Oldham (bass, background vocals).
  • A sticker appended to the packaging is the only thing identifying this as a Palace album. After this last official release by the "band," Will Oldham would become the solo artist he'd already been in everything but name. The mercurial songwriter/performer, fresh from the rocked-up triumph of VIVA LAST BLUES, reinvents himself yet again on ARISE. A uniformly placid sound is marked by the piano and organ of Gastr Del Sol's David Grubbs and a gloriously cheap-sounding drum machine that provides the only rhythm.
  • Most of the songs find Oldham in an unmerciful mode of self-examination, as he cast aspersions on his own life as well as the lives of others. What makes ARISE work is that Oldham is also at his most poetic here, in an almost traditional sense, with lyrics full of archaic imagery and language. The music is appropriately stately, achieving just the right mix of tradition and invention. ARISE THEREFORE sounds like nothing else, and succeeds on its own terms.
Professional Reviews
Spin (6/96, p.117) - "...a piano-dominated, antique-drum-machine-inflected, post-rock dirge. Oldham's unabashed weirdness leave his music both newer and more ancient than expected..."

Alternative Press (8/96, p.82) - 5 (out of 5) - "...another slice of resigned contentment and desperation....wrapped in weighty silence....an abstract, other-wordly, modern-yet-religiously fable-like sense....a series of breakdowns and battles, losses of trust and faith..."

Option (9-10/96, p.124) - "...much of the Palace recipe remains the same: Ned Oldham again contributes his galumping bass guitar lines, and the ubiquitous Steve Albini returns to preside over the barest of studio essentials....Above all...the all-too-real misanthropy of Oldham's character studies--is in full effect..."

Melody Maker (4/20/96, p.36) - "...parched, weary, enough to bring you to tears....it's as if `The Wasteland' had been written by some Kentucky hillbilly, strummed and crooned into a tape machine brought round by visiting government archivists during the FDR years, only now rediscovered..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "ARISE THEREFORE remains unsettled, uncanny, uplifting and sad, a phantom creation beyond the comprehension of even its creator."

NME (Magazine) (4/20/96, p.49) - 7 (out of 10) - "...ARISE THEREFORE is beautiful, fatally cracked music--the sound of a man dragged out...in the dead of night, brought to a swamp dweller's shack and made to confess his deepest fears, cruelest thoughts and most exacting recriminations..."
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