Sun Kil Moon
Benji - CALDO VERDE
FILTER Grade: 84%
By Breanna Murphy on February 10, 2014
Mark Kozelek possesses one of modern music’s most inarguable gifts for both songwriting and delivery and, here, he uses both in full effect to get a lot off his chest. Three records of different projects just last year alone apparently didn’t empty the well. Benji catches the prolific Kozelek as Sun Kil Moon in a wordy, conversational mood, spinning personal tales of tragedy both familial (“Carissa”) and national (“Pray For Newtown”). Rather than long, lonely odes for great open spaces, Kozelek’s signature, mesmerizing guitar work is paired with singing-talk-rants, open-letter editorials posed right at his audience, filled with a wide swath of characters—his parents, his girl, Ben Gibbard (“Ben’s My Friend”), Richard Ramirez (“Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”)—along with detailed references to just about anything and everything—the 330 area code, Panera Bread, Nels Cline, ramen, $350 lamp shades. It can be, and often is, dizzying to unpack the poetry, but it’s probably exactly the point from a brilliant, grieving mind full of verses, desperate to release them.