Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#17 Album Of 2010: Admiral Fell Promises - Sun Kil Moon

Admiral Fell Promises

Sun Kil Moon
Caldoverde Records.

Original SCQ Review

Mark Kozelek’s universe reads as plain and traditional on paper, his M.O. being elegantly strummed ballads, usually acoustic. His discography under such casual lens may not even sound distinctive enough to be warranted its own universe… but anyone who has met a Sun Kil Moon fan knows differently. Over a series of releases split indeterminately under his birth-name and Sun Kil Moon moniker, Mark Kozelek has etched a new form of songwriter record out of his unique strengths: languid and lengthy, serene and reflective. And with each full-length tablet, Kozelek has refined his focus, gradually isolating his crunchy Crazy Horse styled arrangements to delicate one-man acoustics.

That’s where Admiral Fell Promises finds Kozelek, alone with his nylon-stringed muse over ten compositions that expertly showcase his careful contrasts and classical influences. Such restraint, while initially difficult to sit through, eventually proves worthy of any other Sun Kil Moon listening environment; the detailed folk of ‘You Are My Sun’ and the title track sympathetically evoke quiet thoughts while ‘The Leaning Tree’’s curious turns keep us spellbound. It’s anyone’s guess where Kozelek plans to go next, what with Admiral Fell Promises pared down as much as possible, but records so lovely don’t look too far ahead. Sometimes it’s enough just to enjoy the moment.

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