Tonight wherever

April 6, 2008

I got very excited a couple of years ago when Mark Kozelek announced his album of Modest Mouse cover versions, Tiny Cities. A lots of critics dumped on it even before they’d heard it, but I quite liked the songs – at least initially. The big problem was that an album of slow acoustic finger-picking and melancholy vocals all starts to sound a bit same-ish after a while.

Kozelek has the same problem here with his third album with Sun Kil Moon, April. And this time the album is over an hour long. It’s really beautiful in places and I’m a fan of the Sun Kil Moon sound – Neil Young by way of a liquor cabinet and a bottle of sleeping pills. The issue is, once again, that it’s just one “sound” most of the way through.

This wasn’t an issue with album #1, Ghosts of the Great Highway, which mixed up a range of loud and soft and upbeat and downbeat bits. As a result, it’s one of the best alt-country-rock albums you’ll ever hear.

Still, April has its standouts. For my money, “Tonight in Bilbao” is this album’s answer to Ghosts’ “Duk Koo Kim” – the epic, devastating song to soundtrack your darkest nights. Even if Kozelek isn’t recapturing the whole genius of his old record, he’s still in touch with some of it.

Sun Kil Moon – “Tonight in Bilbao”


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