Top positive review
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It's about the journey
on February 25, 2014
For starters, I guess it would be appropriate to compare Mark Kozelek’s CD Benji with his previous work. On one hand, it possesses the raw, heart-on-your-sleeve style of Red House Painters, yet it’s all acoustic. On the other, you’ll find the beautiful, hypnotic melodies from previous Sun Kil Moon releases; although it’s not something you’re likely to queue up in the background while doing something else. It’s a bit of both, and neither, and perhaps could be best described as an example of a maturing artist who’s discovered that often less is more.
As usual, Kozelek does yeoman’s work here as he graces us with his superb acoustic guitar work and delicate production values. Lyrically, the songs are brutally honest, autobiographical, and introspective; almost confessional in nature. While some will make you smile and some will make you weep, all are perfectly embellished melodically. Listening to them is like leafing through someone’s personal diary.
Perhaps the best way to sum this release up is to say it’s much like going on a road trip with an old friend. You catch up, you reminisce, and, after running through a gamut of emotions, you find yourself renewed; comforted by the fact that you’re not on this trip alone.
I’m fond of the concept that music has the power to go straight to the heart. I’ve also discovered that writing can be cathartic. This CD reminds me that listening can be as well. As such, I’m anxiously looking forward to our next trip together.