I’ll admit it I lost track of Mark Kozelek’s output a while ago probably after the first few Sun Kil Moon LPs. After he closed the door on Red House Painters it felt like the right time. But how could any fan casual or hardcore ignore a 9.2 Pitchfork -rated album?
I get why the praise is falling on Benji . Kozelek isn’t the same sulky romantic mope he used to be. Instead he’s found a new side to his singer-songwriter-ism opting for more forthright anecdotes from a tough life growing up in Ohio.
It gets ominous and uncomfortable as he prepares himself for his mother’s death on “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love” and recounts sob stories and his “fucking problems” in “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes.”
But instead of moaning about it all Kozelek peppers sorrow with unbridled humour name-dropping both Red Lobster on “Dogs” and Panera Bread on “Jim Wise” while detailing early life lessons on “I Love My Dad” and drooling over Led Zeppelin on the beautiful “I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same.”
Kozelek sounds reborn as a songwriter venturing into a brave new world where no topic is off-colour. And as a casual fan of his I’m feeling more hardcore about his music than ever.