Bill Callahan - YTI⅃AƎЯ
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2022 Ratings: #83 / 805
User Score
Based on 213 ratings
2022 Rank: #293
Liked by 25 people
Sign In to rate and review



With Callahan's romantic certainty comes rare writerly confidence: several tunes bask in this miraculous feeling ... Outright classic.

His third album in four years shows how the former Smog man continues to raise the bar creatively, delivering another sumptuous and rewarding listen.

Along with delivering the abundance of colors, moods, and first-rate songwriting expected from a Bill Callahan album, Ytilaer is more exciting and engaging than his music has been in some time. This is how an expert singer/songwriter captures the tenor of the moment: with songs of timeless quality.

Spectrum Culture
While the change and evolution may not come as a surprise to anyone who has listened to Callahan since his more impenetrable days, the exact path his evolution has taken is one that feels like a testament to how strange and wonderful life can be.
Beats Per Minute

YTI⅃AƎЯ finds Callahan at his most personally enigmatic, taking inspiration from his own life and filtering those experiences through a prism of modern folktales.

These are songs which manage to pull a sort of magic and meaning from various angles of the mundane. After all, reality is all we’ve got.
The Line of Best Fit

Combining this sonic abundance with a certain emotional aloofness, YTI⅃AƎЯ may well prove to be the first of his albums to provide both Smog fans and Callahan fans with everything expected from each.

The Skinny
Masterful songwriter Bill Callahan shares an open-hearted and invigorating new collection of songs.
The Guardian
The US singer-songwriter turns his experiences of love and contentment into a kind of beatific philosophy – tempered by his awareness of the forces that threaten it.

YTILAER picks at the fabric of the universe and if it doesn't always find the answers it wants, the expansive musical backdrop underlines its slightly ecstatic, questing spirit.

The Observer
The one-time misanthrope returns with beautifully understated reflections on dreams, death and the human condition.
Record Collector

YTI⅃AƎЯ is an hour-long meditation on modernity and the perils that await us if we don’t act now, and while it’s certainly not as upbeat as 2020's Gold Record, the directness cuts through in a way that 2019’s Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest didn't. It’s an album that finds Callahan in great form.

On his third solo album in as many years, the wise and stoic singer-writer extolls the virtues of the sacred and the mundane.
Northern Transmissions
These are the moments where Callahan does with his music what he’s done with the backwards reflected album title; make the familiar subtly strange and blur the distinction between reality and fictions of the mind, until the distinction between the two seems beyond the point.
Under the Radar

At over an hour in length, the beauty of YTI⅃AƎЯ can drag its feet a little bit, but listeners will find no trouble in surrendering to the world Callahan lets them into.

Loud and Quiet

If YTILAER is a short story then these chapters are skippable, but for the most part here is an analog delight, richly deserving in an hour of your time.


You can tell Callahan is really settling down into this late career run with just how expansive and playful these songs are - this time he trusts the musicians he’s assembled to let it rip when the occasion presents itself.

It’s the middle stretch of ‘YTILAER’ that’s most impressive, indeed the run of songs from ‘Bowevil’ to ‘Drainface’ might be his best ever for consistency and flow. This hot patch finds space for no less than three six ... read more


Bill Callahan's latest outing lulls you towards safe harbour on a sea of tranquility. few artists are so adept at painting such lissom motifs onto their musical canvas.


First Bird - 4/5
Everyway - 5/5 ❤
Bowevil - 4/5
Partition - 3/5
Lily - 3/5
Naked Souls - 4/5
Coyotes - 4/5
Drainface - 3/5
Natural Information - 4/5
The Horse - 4/5
Planets - 4/5
Last One at the Party - 4/5


Even the album title makes curios: Reality written backwards, what a fine pun. And even the first tracks pave the way for the entire album, which is monotonuous in a pleasure kind with an homogenuous result. Voice and music create a warm, dark and calm impression. Overall YTILAER is a wonderful album for a grey Sunday afternoon, having a cup of tea and listen to the half spoken, half sung and appropriate musical backed lyrics of Bill Callahan. Some of my favourites:
Naked ... read more


56-year-old Bill Callahan has returned yet again for his ninth solo album (and 23rd overall if you include Smog). The Drag City standout’s latest effort, 'YTI⅃AƎЯ' continues along the path that he has forged over the last 30 years. Over that time, the master songwriter has learned how to evoke any reaction he deems worthy of your attention. And on 'YTI⅃AƎЯ,' Callahan leans on the melancholic, moody, and wistful emotions that he’s pulled from since his early days. This album ... read more


Perhaps his best to date, a grower, great seeing him live too, one of the best lyricist ever!

Purchasing YTI⅃AƎЯ from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Added on: August 15, 2022