Sun Kil Moon | Among the Leaves

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


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.

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