Albums to watch

Best Troubador

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

Best Troubador

Latest offering from lo-fi alt.folk singer-songwriter Will Oldham is a tribute album to country legend Merle Haggard

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  1. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    Though it might seem strange that Oldham recorded the first major tribute to Haggard, the careful and well-thought-out working through of the master's themes makes deliberate sense
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  2. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    A charming and delicate recording that sympathetically pays tribute to Haggard and the range and depth of his songwriting abilities
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  3. 8.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Best Troubador is the best both Oldham and Haggard could ever hope to offer
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  4. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Salute to a country icon from inscrutable Kentuckian. Print edition only

  5. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Sincere tribute to a honky-tonk hero. Print edition only

  6. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It’s reaching out to a ghost, pulling the uninitiated to a plane where it’s possible for Haggard to be renewed and revitalised while all the time being revered and respected
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  7. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    A brilliant loveletter to Merle Haggard
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  8. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Oldham beautifully recasts them in his leaf-rustle baritone
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  9. 8.0 |   All Music

    Best Troubador does a splendid job of showing how right he is about Haggard and his songs, and you'd have to go back to 1994's splendid multi-artist disc Tulare Dust to hear as sincere and affecting a tribute to this most American of artists
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  10. 8.0 |   Q

    Bonnie allows the pure heart of Haggard's songs to stand. Print edition only

  11. 7.4 |   Pitchfork

    An intimate and considered collection that pays homage to a legend while showcasing the steady growth of Oldman’s voice and career
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  12. 7.2 |   Gig Soup

    In paying tribute to the late Merle Haggard, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy shows off his own unique and sumptuous talents
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  13. 7.0 |   The Music

    Every conceivable nuance of each song is explored
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  14. 7.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The fact that Best Troubador manages to outright milk unqualified whimsy from the life and music of one of country’s most rugged, ambivalent heroes — well, it’s really something
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  15. 6.5 |   Earbuddy

    Are these songs good? Of course, they are. Are they better — or even more interesting — than the original? Nope
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  16. 6.0 |   Under The Radar

    A pleasant, warm-hearted experience
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  17. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    While that doesn't make for essential listening, it undoubtedly makes for an enjoyable and almost comforting experience
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  18. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Oldham's quivering voice always manages to sound a little wistful and somewhat folky
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