Sun Kil Moon | Among the Leaves

 Caldo Verde (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  May 22, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

skm1

The first thing you'll notice about Mark Kozelek's fifth LP as Sun Kil Moon are song titles that would give Morrissey a boner: "I Know It's Pathetic But That Was the Greatest Night of My Life," natch, or "Not Much Rhymes with Everything's Awesome at All Times." Kozelek wrote and recorded this one on the fly, and so the second thing you'll notice is how, umm, "on the fly" it sounds. Kozelek poking holes in his well-honed art-house folk? It's here, in "Sunshine in Chicago": "My band played here a lot in the '90s when we had lots of female fans/And fuck, they all were cute/Now I just sign posters for guys in tennis shoes." More easy-target defeatism surfaces in "Track 8," and more irreverence/cuss words in "UK Blues" and "UK Blues 2." Like 2009's Admiral Fell Promises, most of this is simply Kozelek and his nylon-string guitar. Unlike that crazy-good career best, though, Among the Leaves fails to fascinate. Many songs try for more — the urgent "That Bird Has a Broken Wing," the shuffling title track, the full-band slow grind of "King Fish." And Kozelek's guitar playing is predictably tremendous, what with all those incessant triads and nervous arpeggios. But at 17(!) tracks, many of them floundering for melody and meaning, this is the first SKM release to spin its wheels.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, Sun Kil Moon,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ZETH LUNDY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
  •   BILL WITHERS | THE COMPLETE SUSSEX AND COLUMBIA ALBUMS  |  October 31, 2012
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY