March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Sun Kil Moon – Benji

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Sun Kil Moon
Benji
Caldo Verde Records
Street: 02.04
Sun Kil Moon = Neil Young + Mark Lanegan
Mark Kozelek has made a record so confrontational and real, you have to admire it even when it’s a bit much. It’s about how the things that seem “uncool” in life are often what make it worthwhile—a bold, artistic vision that can be a real bummer, honestly. He confronts some heavy shit: the emotional pain of a disabled girl who will never know love, his guilt for taking his grandmother for granted, even his friendship with Ben Gibbard. Still, when it works, it’s uncommonly touching. “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love,” is torturously effective. Within, Kozelek openly struggles with his mother’s mortality, “My mother is 75 she’s the closest friend I have in my life / Take her from me I’ll break down and bawl and wither away like old leaves in the fall.” If that doesn’t choke you up, you and I aren’t friends. –Dan Vesper
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