home listen reviews
Mark Kozelek


In the space of a week or so, I heard a new song four times on the truck radio--surprising from the local college station that apparently prides itself on never playing the same tune twice. There was something instantly familiar in the sound, though it wasn't really like anybody else. I liked it and wondered whose song it was. Running errands, making frequent stops, I never happened to be on hand whenever a DJ ran down the just-played list that would've clued me in. Finally one afternoon, the truck and I sat idling in the Foodtown parking lot until a set featuring this cut came to a close. The song was "Carry Me Ohio" by Sun Kil Moon.

Back home again, I checked into them online. Turns out this is the new band of former Red House Painters frontman Mark Kozelek. I downloaded an MP3 of the single at insound.com and left it on my desktop, playing it over and over for days while I worked. The pleasure refused to lessen. (Still shows no sign of doing so.)

But when I bought the CD it came from, Ghosts of the Great Highway, I felt the way you might if you were unmarried and had been flirting with the new person working the counter where you go every day for coffee, the conversation coming easy and sweet, but when you finally went out on a date together, an unexpected distance appeared, the flirting flattened, and the night seemed lost until, a few hours in, you realized you'd either always have to carry around a piece of heavy furniture to talk over or, more sensibly, you'd have to start from scratch and figure out how to relate to one another without a counter separating you. I programmed the CD player to avoid the single and started listening to the rest of the record the same continuous way I had the MP3. Very soon I was hooked on seven or eight other tunes and could bring the missing favorite back as one of the pack.

I tend to object to reviews that reduce any musician's creation to being like a mixture of flavors known to belong to other musicians. But when I thought of writing a review of this album, I imagined having no commentary at all, just making a drawing like a map of a train line, the stations given the names of a selection of bands I've loved one after another since I was a kid, each sharing some quality with Sun Kil Moon. Not the same as. But other significant points en route, obviously leading me here. It'd look sort of like this:

Listen to our clips. And after that, if you feel the need for any additional reviewing, click here. Conveniently, you'll find yourself at amazon.com's page for this album. Scroll down until you come to a customer review written by Stephen Silberman. That should thoroughly satisfy you (and it'll also give you an experience that might be labeled "What A Customer Review Could Be"). Then scroll back up and put this great disc in your cart.
• James Meyers

listen to clips      return to covers

sunkilmoon.com     jetset records

sadreminders.com (a wonderful fan site)

on tour in Sweden, needing an excellent photographer?
(see Kozelek photo above) contact Torbjörn Persson

accelerator      insound.com

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