Review Summary: Familiar territory.The Finally LP
shouldn’t be hard to come to terms with for any Kozelek fan, as pretty much all of his material runs the same course in some way. The composition is naturally sparkling; his typical acoustic set up couldn’t sound more at home. Of course, what should keep the collective fan base of Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon and all things Kozelek generally satisfied is that, while a b-side album, their early Christmas gift could easily be another Tiny Cities
or What’s Next to the Moon?
anyway. The distance this album goes to collect a handful of otherwise forgotten tracks, though, makes it much more prolific. In-between the decorations of “Piano Song and “Gaping Mouth” (two previously non-existent instrumentals arranged in the same way “Si Paloma” accolades Ghosts of the Great Highway
) lies eight tracks scaling the same number of covers.
Even though he strums chords to his own original numbers just as respectfully, covers almost equate to Kozelek’s niche when he wants them to – here, it couldn’t be any less true. And he can make absolutely any track his own, too: he covers folksinger Kath Bloom’s “Finally” and details it with remnants of “Heron Blue” straight out of his very own April
. Even more impressively is that a track such as “Lazy” does even more to coincide with his discography. Slowcore rockers Low hardly provided any way in for Kozelek with the spooky, macabre original - surprisingly quite the opposite, given the parties both share the incarnation of slow melodies – but it wasn’t like he needed a hint to give it the go ahead. “Lazy” provokes Kozelek’s twinge-acoustic norm that certainly isn’t going to belong to the song’s original brainchild, nor is it imaginable to have it take place in any other singer-songwriter’s history. He also doesn’t tamper with the classics too much, and “Send In The Clowns” is humble with a newer, less aged provocation.
All of his pristine work consigns Kozelek’s rarities compilation with merely decorative purposes, because these moments are never as heartfelt as when he’s actually just singing other people’s sorrows. His ratio of three to eight works out quite happily enough, because the opening and closing sentiments – “Piano Song” and “Gaping Mouth” – are quite pointless in their vain attempts to draw together the album cohesively. This half collection, half tribute barely requires itself to actually come across as an album, so while these two playful newcomers can excuse themselves by doing just that, it nonetheless seems a way in and out as opposed to ‘fresh’ material – which is what it’s supposed to be. Again, AC/DC cover “If You Want Blood” gets the treatment of being Kozelek’s old material, suddenly redefined with a concert recording. At first, it’s near impossible to distinguish the track is even live, and while this may be impressive in itself, it’s something that loses real translation on this specific gathering.
But it hardly matters; even though Kozelek is making himself a little trite with his own new numbers, he’s putting some tracks to their shame with his own country-esque interpretations. Some of them should have never been interpretations, granted – who ever saw “Lazy” coming? Who cares? For most fans, these tracks have disappeared from mankind as limited additions, tribute albums and charitable quickies – The Finally LP
is your chance to hear Kozelek being noble just one more time this year through the means of everyone but himself. It sounds just like it should.