Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Don’t you know? Everything is free on ruination day.

In retrospect, this record's darker themes seem to echo with the gravity of 9/11, though in fact it was released a few weeks before that fateful day. Coincidental prescience aside, Time (The Revelator) stands as Gillian Welch's crowning achievement to date, loaded with emotionally resonant lyricism lit afire by the brilliant musicianship of her partner David Rawlings. Previous albums proved Welch's mastery of traditional form and feel; on Revelator, she and Rawlings struck a more personal chord of artistic expression. The result, from the spellbinding title-track opener to the epic 14-minute closer "I Dream a Highway," firmly established the duo as one of the major talents of their generation.