Course In Fable

Ryley Walker - Course In Fable
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2021 Ratings: #138 / 419
User Score
Based on 66 ratings
2021 Ratings: #372
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A clear case of natural evolution, rather than calculated reinvention — and a record that opens a fresh chapter in Walker's story.

The Line of Best Fit

With the totally triumphant Course In Fable, Walker has devised the ultimate two finger salute to anyone who has ever pinned him down as an artist chained to vintage inspirations: this exciting, moving, beautiful and complex album sounds only and exclusively like Ryley Walker music.


For all its deft homage, the elaborately rococo'd prog- folk of Course In Fable is still very much Walker's own trip.

The Arts Desk

Walker’s playing has the math-rock fidgetiness and twists of album producer/engineer John McEntire’s Tortoise, but this is an overtly poppy album.

Evening Standard

It may not always be obvious where he’s going, but he vists some highly appealing places along the way.


An ensemble piece constructed with old-time friends, it taps into the improvisatory zest that imbues those early Tortoise or Gastr del Sol recordings with such unexpected electronicity.


Walker may tip his hat to Chicago's experimental underground or prog behemoths like Genesis, but with this release, he's very much his own man.

God Is in the TV

This record feels like Ryley Walker is coming out of the hangover of dependency and the sun shining on his face is warm and welcoming rather than a slap in the face. Sink into it.


In and out of the studio, Ryley Walker has been one of indie rock’s more colourful characters for a while now; 'Course in Fable' only reinforces that view.

Beats Per Minute

For such a prolific, genre-blurring artist, we are lucky as listeners that all the pieces Ryley Walker’s set up over the past decade could coalesce in such a fine, tight 40 minutes.


The singer-guitarist takes a new, rangy, proggy direction with an artful touch, finding some psychedelic wisdom between the profound and the mundane.

Under The Radar

Walker’s fifth solo effort is a perfectly imperfect package with significant potential and just enough expanse to keep things interesting.

FLOOD Magazine

Regardless of where it comes from, it’s a delight to listen to. Ryley Walker is free and dancing with his best self.

Loud and Quiet

It’s like listening to a person who invites you over for a conversation, but whenever you try and dig into their motives, it just shushes you, hands you another piece of shortbread and tells you not to worry about it.

It’s not very common in 2021 to find progressive rock rubbing shoulders with singer-songwriter folk, but that’s exactly what you find inside Course In Fable, the newest album from Illinois native Ryley Walker. After struggling through moments of depression and a suicide attempt, Walker reemerges with a new sense of exploration in his music. Album opener sets the tone right with its minute long proggy intro, before the shimmering guitar and fat bass groove set in. Every other song ... read more
Not among Walker's most memorable, but certainly a fun album to listen to once or twice.
Odd and prickly, Course In Fable is a difficult nut to crack and seems only to reveal its charms with repeated listens.

Standouts: Shiva With Dustpan, Clad With Bunk

Dropouts: A Lenticular Slap
I guess I'm not hearing what the critics are, I think Deafman Glance and Primrose Green outshine this one significantly.
I miss Primrose Green era Ryley Walker
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Added on: February 10, 2021