Nobody Knows

Willis Earl Beal - Nobody Knows
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2013 Ratings: #264 / 1035
User Score
Based on 13 ratings
September 10, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
HXC/XL / Label
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The 405

Instead of overcomplicating things to within an inch of their lives, or continuing on the exact same path of the debut, Willis Earl Beal has relentlessly perfected his craft and presented it as not to lose any of the integrity we first encountered. 

The Line of Best Fit

It’s an overwhelmingly dark album. Nobody Knows is a spooky foray into the most terrifying facets of life and love, told through Beal’s honest, no-holds-barred post-blues.

Drowned in Sound

Nobody Knows, the Chicago chap’s second LP, builds upon the oddness of 2012’s debut Acousmatic Sorcery, turning down the quirkiness from an unhealthy 11 to a listenable six.


It's hard to tell if the album feels angrier and grittier than its predecessor, or if peeling off the layers of lo-fidelity actually reveal an artist more raw and without rules than we first perceived.


Nobody Knows should be the start of a brilliant career, not the conclusion of a merely promising one.


As a whole it’s a bold, beautiful and uncompromising record. And proof that right now Willis’ passion and perversity make him the most fascinating outsider in the game.

Under The Radar

For an industry so intent on neat categorization, Beal's artistic flowering on display here demands serious consideration beyond that of a fringe figure with an unconventional back story.

Pretty Much Amazing

Although Beal has demystified his sound, the notion that Nobody Knows is more a passing sight than a rest stop is pretty unshakeable.


Consistent it may not be, but during its finest moments 'Nobody Knows' is unequivocal proof that Beal's artistry is more than capable of surpassing his legend.

Consequence of Sound

Nobody knows. feels more like a second debut than a true sophomore outing, one that sets out to prove to Acousmatic skepticists that there’s more to Beal’s gift than injecting his soul-scoured words into rudimentarily structured songs and beats. 


At its best, Nobody reveals Beal as an old soul deploying the genre of old soul, not so much as an exercise in nostalgia as a surge protector to best contain his electroshock persona. 


Beal’s lack of stylistic allegiance remains intact on his latest release. A beat may appear, but it’s not a necessity, and when one materializes on “Too Dry To Cry,” it sounds as if everyone just banged on whatever object they were nearest too.

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Year End Lists

#14/Under the Radar
#21/Piegons & Planes

Track List

  1. Wavering Lines
  2. Coming Through [ft. Chan Marshall]
  3. Everything unwinds.
  4. Burning Bridges
  5. Disintegrating
  6. Too Dry Too Cry
  7. What's the deal?
  8. Ain't Got No Love
  9. White Noise
  10. Hole in the Roof
  11. Blue Escape
  12. Nobody knows.
  13. The Flow
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Added on: June 26, 2013