Life is People is Bill Fay's first proper studio album since 1971 (he did release a collection of past and home recordings in 2005). You might be asking, who is Bill Fay? The answer is Life is People. Bill had a record deal in the 70's, but he didn't produce hits, so he was dropped. His two albums from that era became his ghost until Wilco covered "Be Not So Fearful" and coaxed Fay back into the spotlight.

For all its simplicity, Life is People is an album of affirmation. Top quality production and mix lets the songs shine brightly. Fay's style hasn't really changed much since those early albums, but that material doesn't seem to have the finality that this album does. The lyrics are tremendous, and Fay chooses his words very deliberately throughout. On the opener, "There Is A Valley," he repeats "the fury of that moment they felt, but could only silently look upon." It's a genius observation from a perspective not often considered.

This record is full of observations, from "Never Ending Happening" to "Cosmic Concerto." It can also be instructive, as on the gospel-esque "Be At Peace with Yourself" or "The Healing Day." I've mentioned to friends that this feels like a musical version of A Man Without A Country; Bill Fay's wise and considered thoughts on the world and we who inhabit it. There are many religious lyrics throughout the album, but Fay sings them so matter-of-factly, you hardly feel as if he's preaching. Quite the opposite, he's merely sharing his point of view.

Life is People is a quiet album, as you would expect from an old man. Well, most old men. Things go from quiet to serene when Fay spectacularly covers Wilco's "Jesus, Etc." Jeff Tweedy makes an appearance, sharing vocal duties on "This World," which is cool, but it's honestly not amongst the LP's best tracks.

On the album's closer, "The Coast No Man Can Tell" a tremendous lullaby of memory, Fay finishes the record alone at the piano with skill and dignity. This record may or may not be Bill Fay's final album, but if it is, it completes his canon perfectly.