Wednesday, January 27, 2010

36. April – Sun Kil Moon (2008)

(Taken from the SCQ Review:)

All the same, a Sun Kil Moon record can’t be summed up by the tag-word ‘folk’ alone. With eleven tracks settling at 74 minutes, April is prone to classic rock and slowcore comparisons just as convincingly, the latter clearly dealing with the more superficial issue of running-time. Enough genre-ambiguity ensures April its own territory to shine, and it’s for the best; the Leonard Cohen musings and Neil Young guitar-slaying of opener ‘Lost Verses’ is enough to make anyone give up deciphering how Kozelek might feel about what Dylan did at the Royal Albert Hall forty-odd years ago.

These songs are meant to be heard outside the concrete jungles we’ve grown in, words for the rural expanses you’ve only walked from the passenger seat. ‘The Light’, like all of the LP, is a tight meditation on the guitar riff and how it can breathe relief or stiffen to a tough snarl; Kozelek’s gift is writing a seven-minute song that consistently thrills based on such minimal compositions. Occupying the best of these quiet reflections is ‘Moorestown’s string-drenched play-by-play and ‘Like the River’ (which enlists the fabulous Bonnie Prince Billy on backing vocals).

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