Sad Reminders

An Unofficial Mark Kozelek Site

You are not logged in.

Announcement

This forum is now READ ONLY. The new forum is here. Read why we have a new forum here.

#1 05-04-2008 9:18am

andrzej
Member
From: Yorkshire,England
Registered: 09-16-2005
Posts: 98

April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

Before i continue i have a confession, when it comes to the music of Mark Kozelek i do view it, one could say 'through rose coloured spectacles' or should that be 'ear phones'??  I love his melancoly voice, the pain in his lyrics, the way and i am reluctant to put this in print, the way his music has the ability to touch my soul. Ever since i first heard Down Colorful Hill his music has had a profound affected on me and has been a sound track to my life.

  I like many Kozelek fans on this site had been waiting many years for a 'new' kozelek album, that was not a covers album or a album of 'live' recordings, though having said that, i think the way he can take songs from any genre and make them his own, is a reflection of the man's true genius.
As the time came closer to the release of April i found myself getting more and more nervous, what would it sound like?? i knew from this site that i was in a minority in liking Ghosts but not really being 'blown away' by it as i had been by his previous albums, it didn't help that my copy of April seemed to be 'delayed in the post'..... and it certainly didn't help when i started to read some of the reviews posted on this site.

That is why i have waited, listened to the album over and over again before i posted this, i know this will be contentious, some people will disagree with me when i say this.... But in my opinion, this is his best album to date.... if nothing else... just because its only a month after its release and to judge, if a piece of music is truly great, takes a lot longer than one month of listening, in most circumstances i would agree ,but the first time i heard Drop, Shadows and too many others to list, i was blown away and knew straight away then, that they were 'classics' and time has not diminished my view.

April to me does not, as they say today 'contain any fillers' just one great song after another, i was amazed to read that one of the contributors to this site thought all the  songs 'sounded' the same... ?? all i can say is, you must have been sold a different cd to me, its filled with songs that to me will become 'classics' in the Kozelek repertoire.
His voice has matured and if it is possible has become sweeter with more passion, any reservations i had were soon dispelled, i am reluctant to single out individual songs because my favourites change with my mood, and the time of day,but can anyone argue with the darker Heron Blue, the amazing Lost verses the angst Like the River or the beautiful Tonight in Bilbao.... On his last tour he played a couple of songs from this album, i cannot wait to hear him play the rest of them.

Last edited by andrzej (05-04-2008 10:30am)


Who can pretend that there's a beginning and not an end
It ain't contrived, all the magic in our lives
Come down like a storm. then drizzles, then dies.

Offline

#2 05-07-2008 5:32pm

David
Member
From: Nottingham, UK
Registered: 04-21-2007
Posts: 12

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

I don't get all this "'April' is the best thing Mark's ever done" stuff.  Yeah it's nice to have a new Mark album for the second time this decade but I really think people are getting ahead of themselves.  'Ghosts of the Great Highway' sounds totally classic to me already, not just a classic Mark album but a classic American album.  It's hooked into things that 'April' doesn't even begin to touch on.  'April' is kinda whiny and juvenile in comparison.  Which is not to say it doesn't stand head and shoulders above 99% of all other music that's being churned out these days, it's just not in the same league as 'Ghosts...' which is like a monumental work of art.

I'm just saying.

Offline

#3 05-07-2008 6:19pm

sangeronimo
Member
Registered: 02-20-2008
Posts: 71

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

Hm, I fall more into the "best thing Mark's ever done" category. I think that April is a huge step forward for his Sun Kil Moon efforts. Unlike Ghosts, April doesn't just sound like a collection of great songs. It flows as a true album and a work of art, an aspect that has been MIA from Mark's work since Ocean Beach, or maybe even Rollercoaster.

Offline

#4 05-07-2008 9:08pm

beginning's eve
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 01-05-2005
Posts: 655
Website

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

agreed, April as an album flows wonderfully and hypnotically; very nice!


and the open drapes look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes...

Offline

#5 05-07-2008 9:43pm

neverending math equation
Member
Registered: 05-27-2006
Posts: 57

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

After analyzing "April" for much longer than I should, the word I would use to describe "April" would be lackluster. With the exception of Unlit Hallway, Moorestown, and Tonight in Bilbao, the rest of the songs are lackluster. Nothing stands out on this album or blows you away, it's same thing as before but without any energy or enthusiasm. Most of the songs go on for way too long, and a lot of the verses are so weak, and the only thing bringing you back to the song is the chorus, i.e. Tonight the Sky. It almost seemed as if Mark didn't play these songs for anyone before he recorded them, he just said, "Ok, I think it's good enough."

To be honest, anyone that says "April" is Mark's best work is a fool. Is this album a complete failure? Of course not. But it's definitely not his best, and anyone that thinks so needs to go back to their bedroom, turn out the lights, grab your headphones and listen to Ghosts of the Great Highway or Rollercoaster. Then listen to April. Before the outro to Lost Verses you'll be sleeping.

Offline

#6 05-07-2008 10:34pm

roice
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 05-17-2006
Posts: 34
Website

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

neverending math equation wrote:

To be honest, anyone that says "April" is Mark's best work is a fool.

this made me laugh, what a completely ludicrous thing to say.

roice

Offline

#7 05-08-2008 4:26am

sg70471
Member
From: new orleans
Registered: 11-16-2004
Posts: 296

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

it seems that there is a clear line drawn in the sand around here between the old school fans and the sunkilmoon fans. I am no therapist so I won't attempt to disect all of the hostil posts but I can share my opinion or feelings about April currently. It took about 20 listens to the album before each somg began really clicking with me. I find myself getting goose bumps more and more frequently the more I listen to it. My fave all time koz is Rollercoaster, by the way. Even with the finger picking, to me, April really highlights his growth as a guitar player and also as a song writer. To me, the songs seem to be much more personal for Mark than the songs on Ghosts. I absolutely love Ghosts also, by the way. But, April fits into my life about as perfect as an album could right now. The one comment I will make about negative posts on here. This site is awesome because you can post anything you like and share your opinions. I personnaly choose not to delve into the negative and if I felt the way that some of you say you feel about April, I think I would just set it down and quit complaining. Put the cd down. Sooner or later your hunger for new koz material will force you to pick it back up and hopefully with a greater appreciation.


And in my eyes, your smile

Offline

#8 05-08-2008 9:07am

Trebor
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 03-22-2005
Posts: 124

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

You know, I was going to post the first reply to the OP but changed my mind - as much as everyone's entitled to their own opinion, there's too many sensitive 'fans' around here. However, I will say that I found the OP quite unsettling - it's great that you've got an opinion about 'April' but it felt like you were trying to recruit followers for a new religious cult.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, you're perfectly within your rights to do that and I (hesitantly) respect your views.

neverending math equation wrote:

After analyzing "April" for much longer than I should, the word I would use to describe "April" would be lackluster. With the exception of Unlit Hallway, Moorestown, and Tonight in Bilbao, the rest of the songs are lackluster. Nothing stands out on this album or blows you away, it's same thing as before but without any energy or enthusiasm. Most of the songs go on for way too long, and a lot of the verses are so weak, and the only thing bringing you back to the song is the chorus, i.e. Tonight the Sky. It almost seemed as if Mark didn't play these songs for anyone before he recorded them, he just said, "Ok, I think it's good enough."

To be honest, anyone that says "April" is Mark's best work is a fool. Is this album a complete failure? Of course not. But it's definitely not his best, and anyone that thinks so needs to go back to their bedroom, turn out the lights, grab your headphones and listen to Ghosts of the Great Highway or Rollercoaster. Then listen to April. Before the outro to Lost Verses you'll be sleeping.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

sg70471 wrote:

Sooner or later your hunger for new koz material will force you to pick it back up and hopefully with a greater appreciation.

Nope, I'll be listening to his better albums instead. I may be longing to hear decent new material from Mark but I'm not going to lie to myself to satisfy that longing. Self-deception is such a vile thing (just like most of the crap Hollywood offers the general public). Switch your brain on, question everything, THINK FOR YOURSELF!

Offline

#9 05-08-2008 9:26am

beginning's eve
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 01-05-2005
Posts: 655
Website

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

though we've discussed the issue many times over here, its still hard for me to understand why fans would compare SKM to Mark's work with RHP or solo material...

it seems legitimate to compare the 3 SKM albums with eachother, but i'll never get the idea of comparing different bands to eachother (ie: Tool/APC, Deftones/Team Sleep, Soundgarden/RATM/Audioslave, etc.)

i can comprehend similarities of course, but this notion of comparing apples to oranges doesnt register for me personally...???


and the open drapes look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes...

Offline

#10 05-08-2008 10:13am

the twilight kid
Member
From: nyc
Registered: 01-26-2004
Posts: 118

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

to me RHP, MK solo, Sun Kil Moon = same rampant badassery. 

April is good, but how could you top Ghosts of the Great Highway? 

2 cents

Offline

#11 05-08-2008 11:55am

beginning's eve
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 01-05-2005
Posts: 655
Website

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

agreed on the badassery! its all awesome...

as for Ghosts vs April:

while they're both great albums, i tend to lean slightly more towards April, and here are my reasonings; ONE:  in general, i enjoy more individual songs off of April as opposed to Ghosts. for example, from Ghosts i really enjoy Glenn Tipton, Carry Me Ohio, Gentle Moon, and Duk Koo Kim. i like all the other tracks as well, but they dont stand out to me as much as the forementioned...
from April, i really enjoy Lost Verses, The Light, Lucky Man, Unlit Hallway, Moorestown, Tonight the Sky, Tonight in Balbao, and Blue Orchids. for me, those are April's standout tracks.
*though i should mention that while i may enjoy more individual songs off of April than Ghosts, i think that Carry Me Ohio and Duk Koo Kim are two of Mark's best songs...

TWO:  April comes across as being a more personal album than Ghosts, in a way where i feel almost like i know Mark personally after listening to April's 11 songs. and while Ghosts does include "more personal" tracks (ie: Carry Me Ohio, Last Tide/Floating, Duk Koo Kim), it seems to lend to more of a folky narrative as opposed to a more personal narrative. i do enjoy folky narrative style lyrics by the way, but i tend to enjoy personal derived lyrics even more...

THREE:  April flows better from song to song moreso than Ghosts in my opinion. i also like the general eased/nostalgic/cool brooding vibe of April moreso than the upbeat warmer vibe of Ghosts. though both general styles/vibes are great and show wonderful diverse sides of Mark's music. as has been mentioned before here, April is more of a night album where Ghosts is more of a day album. and if colors could describe their sounds, i feel the colors of each album's cover art are perfect representations...

theres my few cents and reasonings.


and the open drapes look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes...

Offline

#12 05-08-2008 12:19pm

Trebor
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 03-22-2005
Posts: 124

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

beginning's eve wrote:

though we've discussed the issue many times over here, its still hard for me to understand why fans would compare SKM to Mark's work with RHP or solo material...

it seems legitimate to compare the 3 SKM albums with eachother, but i'll never get the idea of comparing different bands to eachother (ie: Tool/APC, Deftones/Team Sleep, Soundgarden/RATM/Audioslave, etc.)

i can comprehend similarities of course, but this notion of comparing apples to oranges doesnt register for me personally...???

Two bands, with the same frontman / main songwriter, different bands? Conceptually, yes. In terms of completely different personnnel, most certainly not. Now who's fooling themselves, while grasping for straws?

It's got nothing to do with comparing RHP and SKM output - it's a lot more about substance in general. There's a high level of quality in Mark's output during the RHP period, which is sadly lacking in the SKM releases. I'm not expecting Mark to cover the same ground as he did with RHP but I am expecting albums of a similar quality. If he wants to sing about boxers, fine. If he wants to go electronic on us, that's fine too. The only condition I place on him is for me to get something substantial out of the listening experience. 'April' fails miserably both in comparison to his previous work and in isolation.

This forum has shown that there are die-hard SKM fans who have no interest in his RHP days - that's fine with me too. However, what really rattles my cage is how these SKM fans refuse to acknowledge the quality and depth of his RHP compositions. You don't have to like that period (that's your choice) but at least appreciate the 'origins' of his art. It's like a black person refusing to listen to rock because they think it's a 'white thang', when before rock there was rock 'n' roll, which in turn came from blues - a genre that originated from African folk music (especially with the kora).

Praise 'April' as much as you want but also show some respect for a body of work (with regards to his RHP output) that remains a towering achievement by any artist's standards. Anyway, I'll be curious to know how many of you will still love 'April' a year from now, when all the fuss has died down...

Last edited by Trebor (05-08-2008 12:47pm)

Offline

#13 05-08-2008 2:46pm

zeejaydee
Member
Registered: 02-24-2006
Posts: 27

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

we just all need to agree to disagree...to the RHP fans, there's never gonna be any way to convince them that the SKM stuff is acceptable...and vice versa....we just need to enjoy what we've got...

Offline

#14 05-08-2008 2:59pm

beginning's eve
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 01-05-2005
Posts: 655
Website

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

agreed, and i do enjoy it all very much so, from DCH up thru April!


and the open drapes look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes...

Offline

#15 05-08-2008 3:40pm

DaveC
Member
From: Southport, UK
Registered: 08-31-2006
Posts: 155

Re: April...Best ever Kozelek Album?

andrzej wrote:

On his last tour he played a couple of songs from this album, i cannot wait to hear him play the rest of them.

i see you're from Huddersfield so i guess you went to the Manchester Dancehouse gig like me. Right on the first listen of Harper Road and Tonight In Bilbao (though we had no titles then) that he played that night i knew the album would be special.

Though i wouldn't say its his best, its certainly a fine addition to his canon and just a relief to not have nother covers or acoustic disc churned out.

On the whole Ghosts thing, i don't play it a lot, the songs don't follow on and blend in like on April. I like songs from ghosts but often skip, not playing the whole thing. When i play April i want to hear it from start to finish. This is the sign of a great album, when there's not a track you dont want to hear.

I must say i've been getting into a lot of new bands (new to me anyway!) lately so whilst i'm chuffed to bits he released April, i haven't played it loads yet while i digest other stuff too. That said, i must play it soon as have not done for a few weeks! There's just not enough time in the day to listen to music!

And as has been said, whatever you think of April, it craps all over most of what passes as 'music' these days (hey, i'm vast approaching 30, i'm entitled to rant about todays music scene!)

I certainly dont think the songs all sound the same like somebody said. Artists create, they move on, develop over the years. No, April is not Rollercoaster or Ocean Beach but then OK Computer is not Kid A is not The Bends either. Why bother comparing a new album to past albums? It is what it is, and if it was to come out sounding for all the world like an album he'd done before, surely people would slate him for it anyway. Give the man some credit.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB