Domino - 2003 - 35 minutes

Troubles and tenderness, Will Oldham's picked up some miles and plenty of passengers journeying between the two. And 'Master and Everyone' should see his faithful grow ever larger and diverse with a collection that could plug into the emotions of even the mainstream roots and country crowd. But a repeat of the more upbeat nature of 2001's 'Ease Down the Road' isn't the plan. 'Master...' dims the lights, asks why, and this being Oldham, is of course at times eerie (Lambchop man and producer Mark Nevers capturing the dark hum that comes off acoustic guitars), but it has a comfort that lasts far longer than its 35 minutes.

Soaked in love or parched for it, Oldham's foil on some of the standouts is Nashville vocalist Marty Slayton, whose presence makes the songs live through someone else and softens some of the gentlest things he's ever shared with the rest of us. Like replaying a conversation of the heart in your head over and over again, there's something new here to figure out each time - and even Oldham un-enthusiasts will enjoy unravelling these mysteries.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: The Way - Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise? - Master andEveryone - Wolf Among Wolves - Joy and Jubilee - Maundering - Lessons from What's Poor - Even If I Love - Three Questions - Hard Life