11 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mark Kozelek’s work with The Album Leaf’s Jimmy Lavalle on Perils from the Sea gave the Sun Kil Moon leader (formerly of Red House Painters) a new outlook on lyric writing. Kozelek discovered that if he shifted his approach, he could deliver a conversational narrative as personal and as rambling as anything since Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac cataloged what was on their minds. In Kozelek’s case, he pays tribute to his family, whether it’s “Carissa” (a second cousin he barely knew who passed at age 35 in an accidental fire), his uncle who died on his birthday in an eerily similar fire, or his mom (“I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love”) and dad (“I Love My Dad”). He recounts details, big and small, and finds a way to thank Ivo Watts-Russell (the 4AD founder who discovered him in 1992) in a song about watching the Led Zeppelin movie The Song Remains the Same. Even Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (“Ben’s My Friend”) has a breezy-tune/serious-lyric written about him. There aren’t many artists who discover new voices in their songwriting after 20+ years, but Kozelek’s done it a few times.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mark Kozelek’s work with The Album Leaf’s Jimmy Lavalle on Perils from the Sea gave the Sun Kil Moon leader (formerly of Red House Painters) a new outlook on lyric writing. Kozelek discovered that if he shifted his approach, he could deliver a conversational narrative as personal and as rambling as anything since Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac cataloged what was on their minds. In Kozelek’s case, he pays tribute to his family, whether it’s “Carissa” (a second cousin he barely knew who passed at age 35 in an accidental fire), his uncle who died on his birthday in an eerily similar fire, or his mom (“I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love”) and dad (“I Love My Dad”). He recounts details, big and small, and finds a way to thank Ivo Watts-Russell (the 4AD founder who discovered him in 1992) in a song about watching the Led Zeppelin movie The Song Remains the Same. Even Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (“Ben’s My Friend”) has a breezy-tune/serious-lyric written about him. There aren’t many artists who discover new voices in their songwriting after 20+ years, but Kozelek’s done it a few times.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
140 Ratings

140 Ratings

The Melancholic ,

Interesting reviews

Not my favorite From Kozelick but I think its wierd how the ratings fro this album shake out nearly all 5 stars or 1 star. Which would imply you either love it or hate it. This makes no sense to me as the haters all seem to be rjecting his more melancholy "self indulgent" personal songs. But seems to me he has always done that. I do think he has opted for a more spare and simple framework for most of the stuff here - I think a reaction to touring more as a solo performer as much as anything. And I would agree that the songs are not his best, but to demote down to one star implies a review more of the direction he has chosen to take rather than the music. Of course that kind of review might be more useful to many - it certainly is interesting. As for the songs - I think people who have not experience great loss may not get as much from his melancholy. This dude sure has seen alot of apprently close friends and relatives pass....

quinnpeaks ,

Ludes n' shrooms

Kozelek's albums have been an automatic purchase upon release for years and years. Those days are now done as I will want to use the little preview button going forward. The lyrics are streams of mundane and sleepy consciousness with little to no craft in melodic structure. Psuedo-choruses lack and sort of punch. Vocals often trail off from the microphone.

Apparently singing about eating crab-cakes at sports bars is mind-blowing story telling to many listeners that puts MK in the ranks of Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. I disagree.

Some call this approach "PAINFULLY REAL!!!" Having loved the power and design of his former efforts, I call this painfully pedestrian and below standard.

It's sad to me that one of his weakest efforts is being the most celebrated. Dumbing it down works, i guess.

jnevin ,

Holy Crap

This album is so real that it hurts.
True folk music storytelling.

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