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Knock Knock
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Performer Notes
  • Smog: Bill Callahan.
  • Will Bill Callahan (a.k.a. Smog) be known as the man who made his reputation as a melancholy lo-fi painter of bleak, sonic landscapes, accompanied by a children's choir? Believe it or not the massed, angelic kids' voices are an integral element of a couple of tracks on KNOCK KNOCK. Since graduating from the four-track school of audio hard knocks, Smog's releases have become more and more fully realized. This process reaches its apex on KNOCK KNOCK, the most unabashedly lush recording of Callahan's prolific career. In addition to the choir, Callahan's almost pastoral arrangements are colored by strings, and even his lyrical outlook seems to have shifted towards the sunnier side. Make no mistake, though--he's not happy, just less miserable, which means he stills hits the mark that Smog fans look for in their hero's work.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (2/4/99, p.62) - "...Smog still sings like he has trouble cutting his own food, but the tunes seem to involve actual emotional contact with another person, quite a breakthrough in indie-rock terms..."

Entertainment Weekly (2/5/99, p.70) - "...On his seventh release, he turns extrovert, rocking out with a band, a string section, and even a children's choir. The energy jolt serves him well, making the delicate broken spirit of his lyrics cathartic rather than depressing." - Rating: B+

CMJ (1/25/99, p.24) - "...typically dark-humored and eccentric word smithery with bits of crunchy electric guitar, thunderous handclaps and even -- creepily enough -- a children's chorus..."

Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.30) - Ranked #35 in Mojo Magazine's "Best of 1999"

Mojo (Publisher) (4/99, p.99) - "...this album rocks like a monkey..."
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