Once again, Will Oldham emerges out of the murky, Midwestern haze with another helping of lovely, low-key musings on his fourth full-length album, Arise, Therefore, this time recorded under the name Palace Music (previously Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, or just plain Palace). Much quieter than Viva Last Blues and less-Appalachian in its folk spirit than Palace's earlier music, the songs on Arise, Therefore shift and moan with breathy cracks and shivers; Oldham's meandering, poet-speak vocals; and guitar accompanied by his brother, Ned's bass, David Grubbs' piano, and (surprise!) a Maya Tone drum machine. The lyrics (included for the first time) are beautiful in their stark, pale honesty as often as they are indecipherable. "I watch things painted on public walls/Now but I see other things as well/Behind but right f*ck in front of my spirit is how the real road's laid out in a line," he sings on "Kid of Harith." Don't ask for an interpretation: It will come with time, or it won't.
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AllMusic Review by Kurt Wolff