Sun Kil Moon | Admiral Fell Promises

Caldo Verde (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 7, 2010
4.0 4.0 Stars

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I'm convinced that Mark Kozelek is actually a hypnotist posing as a musician. Sure, his work as Sun Kil Moon, his moniker of choice since 2003, has been touched with a Neil-Young-on-'ludes grace — few singer-songwriters working today can boast records as stark, profound, and warmly haunting as his. But tempos that gait like a swinging pocket watch and Kozelek's drowsy, double-tracked voice make a strong case for a spellbinding kind of sublimity. This uncanny effect is even more pronounced on Admiral Fell Promises. SKM's fourth full-length is performed entirely by Kozelek on nylon-stringed guitar, with virtually no embellishments. His picking and phrasing combine Andrés Segovia with José González and even flamenco flourishes — whatever you want to call it, it's light years ahead of the obvious strumming that permeates the singer-songwriter field. The fever-dream psychedelia of earlier SKM songs like "Duk Koo Kim" is played out in miniature here; "Church of the Pines" and "Alesund" twist and turn like glacial shapeshifters, and the travelogue "Third and Seneca" becomes something else by song's end. You'll think you've missed all these subtle changes, but that's only because you've been caught up in a spell.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Mark Kozelek, Sun Kil Moon, Sun Kil Moon
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