Bill Fay Life is People

Bill FayLife is People
It's hard to be a cult hero these days when self-promotion has become an art in and of itself. British singer-songwriter Bill Fay undoubtedly would have remained banished to obscurity had Wilco's Jeff Tweedy not began trumpeting the brilliance of Fay's two early '70s albums and drawing liberally from them starting around Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That attention slowly began drawing Fay out of his self-imposed shell, and Life is People marks his full-fledged return from the wilderness. Although now in his 60s, Fay has lost none of his ability to capture the wonder of life in his words. From opening track "There is a Valley," Fay assumes the role of a spiritual guide, in the best possible sense, noting that all things contain good and evil, but that we never lose the capacity to choose the right path. It's easy to hear how Tweedy fell under Fay's power, and he returns the favour in person on the jaunty "This World," while Fay further acknowledges the connection with a stunning solo cover of "Jesus, Etc." What Tweedy ultimately learned from Fay is that pop can be used to ask the largest philosophical questions imaginable. Fay's genius lies in how close he's able to come to providing genuine answers. (Dead Oceans)