Sun Kil Moon - Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

Sun Kil Moon
Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

Mark Kozelek under the name Sun Kil Moon has always been able to capture something with his music that few others can. His haunting vocals and his ability to craft a song that perfectly captures the mood He is trying to create. Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood is no different, but what is different is the world surrounding it. On this new album Sun Kil Moon tries to come to grips with the world seeming to fall apart around him and at the same time the years keep ticking by making us older and older every time we look into the mirror. His response however is not despair, instead it edges much closer to something like disgust. The World Kozelek sees around him is so far from the one He hoped it would be that they only reaction He can muster up is bewilderment and anger. Through his unrhyming lyrics on "God Bless Ohio" Kozelek makes direct statements, plain and available for anyone to hear as well as understand. The music is so soft and light, like something you would hear on a back road sunlit drive, but the lyrics are just downer after downer. For the Sun Kil Moon faithful finding the easter eggs Kozelek lays in his lyrics are half the fun, but it makes listening to a song more of a intellectual exercise rather than an emotional one. Sun Kil Moon really is more spoken word set to music; it's one part poetry, one part music and another part that is fucking ambitious as all hell.

Those are the good things, but there is quite a bit to really dislike about this record as well. First the double album is way to long at over two hours. Songs range from five minutes on the short end to well over ten minutes on the long side. There is no hooks, just a barrage of words half sung and half spoken reaching one forgone conclusion or another. It just feels like masturbation to have a record be this long, this dense and this devoid of many musical changes. There are some differences between the tracks, but it is clear that Kozelek wants the lyrics to be the center of attention. Many times during the record you just want Sun Kil Moon to get to the fucking point rather than meandering with these statements. It feels like hubris when he says that his music sounds like it is from a "Cameron Crowe film score" on "Lone Star", but it is stated so matter of fact that you kind of believe it, for a minute. His statements are also so matter of fact, yet He says them like no one has ever come to these conclusions before. Yes the transgender laws are terrible, Yes Trump is terrible, Yes people are dumb but what do you have to say about that? If it is just pointing it out who gives a shit? That is where you find yourself for most of this record, thinking why should I care? Sun Kil Moon does not make it easy to like him, in fact it seems like He tries to actively put you off, yet there is something really artistic at the bottom of it all. This record however is just too long, too similar and too boring to really make an impact.

5.1 out of 10


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