Sun Kil Moon
April


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
June 26th, 2008 | 59 replies | 17,543 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


If there's anyone you can rely on to stay essentially the same whenever they release a new record, it's Mark Kozelek. In the past 20 years, Kozelek's brand of reflective folk has gone relatively unchanged, even with the change of band name (from Red House Painters to Sun Kil Moon) and his covering of artists from AC/DC to Modest Mouse. But what's more important than Kozelek's aesthetic is the melancholic, reflective emotion that accompanies each and every release. Throughout Kozelek's career arc, it's possible to that emotion becoming more and more resigned to the fact of its own existence. This was best demonstrated on one of the very best Red House Painters releases Ocean Beach, and later on Kozelek's first album as Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts of the Great Highway. 2005's Tiny Cities took things even further by stripping back the instrumentation to an essentially acoustic configuration.

April sticks with the acoustic theme, albeit with a couple of warm, clean electric guitar tones, but none of the Kevin Shields meets Crazy Horse tones that Ghosts of the Great Highway's "Salvador Sanchez" gave us (though "Tonight the Sky" does kick things up a notch). And even if April really does nothing new for Kozelek, it does throw us a few bells and whistles in the form of guest vocalists Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service) and Eric Pollard. The subtle banjo on "Unlit Hallway" is also somewhat a-typical. But really, it's Kozelek's voice in all its imperfect glory that makes April (and indeed all of his other work) as wonderful as it is. Kozelek's voice is fractured; it occasionally cracks, misses notes and has a very narrow range, but is all the better for it.

If there's an easy way to sum up what is so appealing about Kozelek it's that he seems so lost in his art, so intent on baring his soul and communicating those emotions that are central to his work that things like technique are mere tools. Attempts at radical changes in sound are ditched in favour of honesty. April may not be the most original record released this year, or even in Kozelek's own catalogue, but it's an honest and beautiful reflection of the soul of its creator. In that regard, it's difficult to imagine how anyone, long time fan or newcomer alike, could possibly want anything more.

Recommended Tracks
Lost Verses
Moorestown
Tonight the Sky



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Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 27th 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

resubmit =/

brandtweathers
June 27th 2008



2007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

doesn't matter. great review/reviewer.
in a gay way, you're up there with lewis as far as my favorite staff

joshuatree
Emeritus
June 27th 2008



3743 Comments


gay

brandtweathers
June 27th 2008



2007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

super. thanks for asking.

SynGates
June 27th 2008



2467 Comments


damn good album.

Doppelganger
June 27th 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

kozelek is the greatest. I got his book of cd notes, song tunings, lyrics, set-lists, and such. It's pretty sweet.

lateoctober
June 27th 2008



171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what kind of abomination gave this a 1.5?

Ah wait, Troll. This Message Edited On 06.27.08

SynGates
June 27th 2008



2467 Comments


yeah that sconza guy loves his 1s.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2008



15728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

my favorite staffer is jxd lol ironic

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Intransit
June 29th 2008



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is soooooooooo awesome.

gmoneyguy
June 30th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just got this the other day, and loved it.

Pebster49
July 10th 2008



2991 Comments


This sounds really good, the only thing that im kinda skeptical about by listening to the myspace songs they have is that the first two songs sounded a lot a like...

dreambrother18
July 13th 2008



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a fantastic album. Can't wait to hear him play these songs live!

Kage
July 13th 2008



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Give me Tiny Cities any day.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

when I'm in the mood for this, it's amazing

SpinLightTwo
July 28th 2008



1029 Comments


The change that occurs around 2:55 in Blue Orchids is so good.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 25th 2008



15728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

God i find this so hard to listen to.

SynGates
September 25th 2008



2467 Comments


Yeah I don't really listen to it the whole way through anymore.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 25th 2008



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah basically. But I still agree with what I said a couple months ago.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 25th 2008



7926 Comments


My ear-dick is still trying to penetrate this. I've only given it one real listen though.



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