Dream River

Bill Callahan - Dream River
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2013 Ratings: #141 / 955
Year End Rank: #36
User Score
Based on 120 ratings
2013 Ratings: #55
September 17, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Drag City / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

As a portrayal of Bill Callahan by Bill Callahan, Dream River doesn’t chew an inch of scenery; instead it dwells in knowing glances and haunted whispers.

86
Beats Per Minute

There are so many divergent paths to take and so many depths to explore here that multiple listens are a given and implicitly expected. Dream River is as evocative a record as he’s ever made and that’s saying quite a lot. 

85
Pitchfork

At its core, this is a record about accepting and even embracing the smallness of human life, and how difficult that can be, given our damnably innate sense of adventure, ambition, and restlessness.

80
NME

Callahan’s early work as Smog painted him as a lo-fi sex case, but of late he’s adopted a sweeter, eddying Americana, and ‘Dream River’ takes a turn to lush country-soul.

80
Consequence of Sound

Much like Carver’s collections of short stories, Dream River feels clearly of one piece, though their narratives aren’t explicitly interrelated. They both speak with clarity, never wasting a word. It takes a mature, confident mind to let these thoughts unfurl this easily. 

70
AllMusic

With Dream River, fans already know what to expect from the man lyrically, and it can't be argued with qualitatively. When you place those lyrics in the context of something so subtly adventurous musically, the result is both engaging and seductive.

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

Dream River might not leap out at you, but it’s because it’s too cohesive, too flat to live a life outside of the porch of your mind, too bound up in a singularity of gaze to be anything other than what Callahan is preoccupied with at the moment. 

60
musicOMH

With the lightweight numbers up front and the centrepiece dominating the lacklustre cast around it, the album is surely one of the most uneven and unsatisfying in recent memory from Callahan.

60
Drowned in Sound

It is a great record, at times. But when the elements don’t quite chime it suffers. You’re left with the feeling of treading water, waiting for the whirlpool, waiting for the storm.

50
Under The Radar

While the songs on Dream River aren't what anyone would consider pedestrian, they don't feel particularly daring or weighty (especially after the more serious tone of 2011's Apocalypse). 

Sappy
90
Top Favorite: Ride My Arrow
Other Favorites: Javelin Unlanding, The Sing, Spring
Least Favorite: Seagull
Gupla
86
Dream River es una continuación de lo que Callahan viene haciendo: un reflejo vivo del estilo descriptivo personal y rustico. Esto suena un poco más meticuloso, con una técnica centrada en lo más aventurero, callado y ambiguo. Otra obra que encierra las perfectas químicas sonoras con pequeños retoques sumamente limpios, para sonar enteramente bellos con cada detalle y rasgueo delicado.
Tom Simmons
74
Fav Tracks: Smale Plan, Javelin Unlanding, Ride My Arrow

Least Fav Track: Spring
joewindlebrox
72
'You used to take me up/I watched and learned how to fly' A very enjoyable folk album although the first half of it is eons better in comparison to the second.
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Track List

  1. The Sing
  2. Javelin Unlanding
  3. Small Plane
  4. Spring
  5. Ride My Arrow
  6. Summer Painter
  7. Seagull
  8. Winter Road
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Added on: June 18, 2013