Sun Kil Moon
Tiny Cities


4.5
superb

Review

by Blair Chopin USER (107 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2012 | 4 replies | 1,397 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

I usually hate everything about covers. I hate the idea of "stealing" someones work for your own personal gain, I hate the idea of claiming that you changed that work enough to make it your own, and I hate the idea of every artist in the free world botching "Let It Be." Covers to me have always been an admission of an artists lack of creativity or even worse a shameless admission that the artist you are covering is more talented than you are. Covers for me were always an excuse instead of being actual art.

So when I was recommended Sun Kil Moon's Tiny Cities, a Modest Mouse cover album, I was skeptical to say the least. I always thought the only artist who could be Modest Mouse was Modest Mouse. Modest Mouse's songs always have a schizophrenic like energy, a "space rock" vibe, clever lyrics, and a pretty badass feel. If Mark Kozelek tried to make Modest Mouse songs like Modest Mouse, he would fail miserably because the only artist original and creative enough to be Modest Mouse is Modest Mouse. Instead Kozelek made a Sun Kil Moon album featuring Modest Mouse's lyrics and the result is the best cover album I have ever listened to.

Instead of trying to "cover" songs like "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "Ocean Breathes Salty" Kozelek brings a unique feel to these songs and "recreates" these classic songs in his own way. Kozelek replaces the schizophrenic energy of Modest Mouse with his soft and warm vocals, he replaces Modest Mouse's space rock feel with the folky acoustic feel of his own songs, and replaces the "badass" feel of Modest Mouse with a feeling of peaceful contentedness. The only thing that is Modest Mouse about Tiny Cities are the lyrics and the track titles, the rest is just Mark Kozelek's warm vocals and acoustic guitar.

The acoustic feel makes the music so "humane" and relatable. When I listen to Modest Mouse I always feel like I am listening to great music but I have never felt like Modest Mouse made great music that I could actually relate to. The acoustic feel of Tiny Cities brings out Modest Mouse's sensitive side: "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" sounds like a beautiful ballad instead of saying like a parnoid hard rocking song, "Ocean Breathes Salty" sounds like a perfect closer to a folk album instead of sounding like a forgotten song on a popular indie rock album, "Trucker's Atlas" sounds like a perfect four minute traveling song instead of sounding like an 11 minute cluster mess, "Draminine" sounds like a fast picking acoustic song instead of dark distorted rocker, and "Space Travel Is Boring" sounds like a folky anthem instead of sounding like a rushed two minute interlude. The soft, warm, and acoustic feel of this album makes Modest Mouse's lyrics and gives their music a totally different feel overall. You know get to see the genius of the lyrics of "Ocean Breathes Salty," "Truckers Atlas," "Neverending Math Equation," and "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" instead of just viewing them as brilliant and energetic songs. Kozelek's gives us a Modest Mouse that we can cry to, we can sleep to, and most importantly a Modest Mouse that we can realte to. The softness of Kozelek's covers of Modest Mouse bring the bands brilliant lyrics to life and in a weird way bring one of the most energetic bands in the world to life.

Sun Kil Moon's Tiny Cities restored my faith in the cover. Instead of viewing covers as admission of guilt, writers block, and lack of creativity, I now see covers as opportunities to bring an artist to life in a new and original way. Sun Kil Moon "humanize" Modest Mouse with every acoustic riff, every warm vocal, and every brilliant lyric that you never noticed before. Kozelek knew that making another Modest Mouse album is impossible, so he made a Sun Kil Moon album featuring Modest Mouse lyrics. The result is something breathtaking, original, creative, free, and often times better than the original. Everything that a cover album is supposed to be.....



Recent reviews by this author
Soundtrack Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldThe Avett Brothers The Carpenter
Nick Drake Bryter LayterM. Ward Transistor Radio
Yellowcard When You're Through Thinking, Say YesHouse Of Heroes The End is Not The End
user ratings (90)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Andrew H. EMERITUS (4)
In a way that only he can, Mark Kozelek transforms Modest Mouse songs into beautiful acoustic folk b...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wildcatforever
January 2nd 2012



437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Read the uncensored version here: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/2012/01/album-retrospective-sun-kil-moon-tiny.html

Eko
January 2nd 2012



2119 Comments


I've heard one song from this and it was pretty neat

Wildcatforever
January 2nd 2012



437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Go in for 10 more my friend.

Hikikomori
January 3rd 2012



48 Comments


Best covers album, hands down. Every song is so different and maintains that quality that the MM songs have. I'm convinced Mark Koz cannot make a bad album, even if its covers. Solid review.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy