Mark Kozelek has been enjoying a creative writing splurge in recent years, putting out Sun Kil Moon and solo projects each year. For 2017 we have two Sun Kil Moon albums, with the first, ‘Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood’ (phew) being a two-hour plus monster! (double phew)
In a live show last year, Kozelek mentioned how he liked to write in taxis, in hotels and simply wherever he could, and the lyrical content reflects this as songs jump from death, gun crimes, love and the hotels themselves, often within the same track. It’s all a stream of consciousness, it’s all whatever needs to be said, and it all somehow works as spoken word moves into a chorus, a skit, or a peaceful rare moment of pure instrumentation.
It’s a dense work, an off the rails Benji, a folk concept album about gun crime, a vague rock album full of vague rock songs. There is so much here it ends up being many things, and moments which come across as corny, like the ‘Me We Me We’ Mohammed Ali poetry chorus from ‘Bergen to Trondheim’ is soon replaced by rap like ranting in the same track which suits the band’s style more than you’d thing, and you need the two together to make it all tick. It shows sincerity, it feels raw, and if you want something tighter, well ‘Seventies TV Show Theme Song’ will lead you to Amazon for that.
Listen to ‘I Love Portugal’ Here.