Published May 08, 2018Most die-hard Mark Kozelek fans are unanimous about his recent output; his artistic vision greatly eclipses any urge to please the audience. On the latest self-titled effort, Kozelek continues to define the post-Benji era of his career with the significant stylistic changes that have found him straying further away from the trademark sound that he cultivated with Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon.
On Mark Kozelek, the San Francisco-based musician once again exchanges symbolic metaphors and lush vocals for verbose, stream-of-conscious lyrics that define his style today. He spares no details on his day-to-day thoughts and experiences; some are exciting, some banal, but all are unfiltered and possibly even unedited. The glimpse into his life stands alone as a compelling piece of American realism, operating like a novel does.
The opening track, "This is My Town," is a loose ode to San Francisco, where Kozelek documents the thoughts, interactions and the daily events that lead up to an arrival at the Seal Rock Inn, a San Francisco hotel where the album's recording takes place. The recording session is one of many very recent happenings that Kozelek sings about, and aptly represents the realistic narrative in which he sees the world around him.
Mark Kozelek is a skeletal record, composed almost exclusively with guitar loops and vocals tracks, designed to serve as a vehicle for his diary-like lyrics. Some may argue that Kozelek aims for quantity over quality, while others wait attentively for his next correspondence. (Caldo Verde)