11 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The unlikely pairing of The Album Leaf's Jimmy LaValle and Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek yields an absorbing marriage that few could have foreseen. LaValle, for his part, simplifies his synthetic textures until the grooves are nearly static. This frees Kozelek to sing, rap, or mumble lyrics that might not easily fit one of his well-sketched melodies. Together, the songs have a rare conversational style. "What Happened to My Brother" sounds as you might expect, with an ominous keyboard line and Kozelek sounding particularly pained; he seems to be singing to a ghost. Yet "1936" (a heartbreaking tale of the sensitive singer/songwriter as a young punk) and "Gustavo" (a humorous anecdote about an errant Mexican contractor working on Kozelek's home in the country) are done with space-age hip-hop grooves: one fast, one moderate. "You Missed My Heart," said to have been inspired by a dream, reads like a Nick Tosches tale, with its darkness all but complete. LaValle's funereal chords for "Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails" are so perfectly contoured for Kozelek's autobiographical details that it'd be a shame if this is their only album together.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The unlikely pairing of The Album Leaf's Jimmy LaValle and Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek yields an absorbing marriage that few could have foreseen. LaValle, for his part, simplifies his synthetic textures until the grooves are nearly static. This frees Kozelek to sing, rap, or mumble lyrics that might not easily fit one of his well-sketched melodies. Together, the songs have a rare conversational style. "What Happened to My Brother" sounds as you might expect, with an ominous keyboard line and Kozelek sounding particularly pained; he seems to be singing to a ghost. Yet "1936" (a heartbreaking tale of the sensitive singer/songwriter as a young punk) and "Gustavo" (a humorous anecdote about an errant Mexican contractor working on Kozelek's home in the country) are done with space-age hip-hop grooves: one fast, one moderate. "You Missed My Heart," said to have been inspired by a dream, reads like a Nick Tosches tale, with its darkness all but complete. LaValle's funereal chords for "Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails" are so perfectly contoured for Kozelek's autobiographical details that it'd be a shame if this is their only album together.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

michaelcsanders ,

Kozelek's Best Since April...Maybe Longer

This collaboration album is nothing short of stunning. I'm a huge fan of Kozelek; he is one of the few songwriters that can release a stunningly beautiful masterpiece every time he releases an album. While I loved "Admiral Fell Promises" and "Among the Leaves", they did lack that exciting element and Kozelek seemed stuck in a groove permanently. This album will blindside you completely. Thanks to Jimmy Lavalle, this is almost like Kozelek meet Radiohead's Kid A-era. While "Ghosts" will probably be the album that Kozelek is always remembered for, this album is bound to be a classic in his discography. It's beautiful, heartbreaking at times and at other times downright dark. Good stuff.

GoinDownSouth ,

Sweet!

What a wonderful collaboration. I fumbled upon both of the artist, separately, and couldn’t be more impressed with the result here.

ilexiou ,

Beautiful

I love Kozelek. I would have never thought oh yeah add an electronic element. But soooooo good!

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