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Like the birds he loves so well, Callahan’s albums find him alighting momentarily on precarious perches and naming what he sees. By the time we hear the music, he seems to have flown on again. His vantage from Eagle is one of textured ambivalence; his images split and shimmer like double-exposures, immediately releasing an obvious meaning quickly followed by a subtler one that equivocates the first… Twenty years in, and Bill Callahan appears to be tearing up everything he’s believed and starting from scratch, armed with the terrifying wisdom of knowing that one knows nothing, and searching for meaning regardless. He’s resigned but heroically presses on. The void looms, but the music keeps it barely at bay.
I don’t think I’ve been this dominated by an album since Andrew Bird’s The Mysterious Production of Eggs.