Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties

by Kevin Orton Rating:5 Release Date:2016-03-18

For my tastes, the Bonnie Prince can be hit or miss. As for his latest collaboration with his Drag City label-mates, Bitchin Bajas, Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, I’m not going to say it’s a miss per se. It is, however, a by and large monotonous affair. The album can be divided into two parts: Hare Krishna slow jams for the first few numbers and meandering, spacey, synth Zen meditations for the rest. If there’s a Fifth Beatle on this one, it isn’t George Martin but a big, fat spliff. 

'May Life Throw You a Pleasant Curve' is a promising start. Musically, its refreshing to hear the Bonnie Prince murmur over atonal, Occidental stylings. Then the following tracks clock in at eight rambling minutes and everything starts to sound the same and one's eyes glaze over. By the time you reach the 3rd track, “Your Heart Is Pure, Your Mind Is Clear…” you're more likely to be annoyed at this wankfest rather than blissed out.

Out of the spacy attempts at Zen that characterize much of this effort, “Despair Is Criminal” is the most noteworthy. Quite stunning in fact. On “You Are Not Superman” the Bonnie Prince gets his Laurie Anderson on, paying homage to “O Superman” with similar vocal effects. "Show Your Love and Your Love Will Be Returned" finds our Bonnie Prince in David Sylvian mode for some atmospheric New Age style naval gazing.

To be honest, parts of this are simply beautiful. Other times its pretentious, irritating and at worst, just plain dull. You have to be in the mood for this one. In other words high as a kite.The most immediate effect it had on this listener was make me want to blast Blank Generation or White Light/White Heat at full volume.

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