MARK KOZELEK – Sings Christmas Carols (Caldo Verde/2014)

22 Nov


With Mark Kozelek getting as much attention of late with his belligerent, confrontational and truly ridiculous behavior as he is with his always beautiful music, it’s hard to know how to read his entry into the Christmas music game — it’s not at all clear that Kozelek holds a lot of love in his heart for anyone but himself. But perhaps that’s exactly what makes this new record compelling, and truly appropriate for a season that is frequently as full of melancholy as it is joy. Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols is a spare and lovely album of (mostly) classics, with intricate acoustic guitar and Kozelek’s rich vocals creating a truly serene and beautiful mood that captures the complicated emotions of this all-powerful holiday. Most of these readings are pretty straight, though the opening take on « Christmas Time Is Here » pretty much says it all, when after a minute of lush, rolling guitar and near-angelic vocals, there is a spoken interlude that begins « I think there’s something wrong with me, Christmas is coming but I’m not happy, I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. » Really, who among us does? (November 5, 2014/josh madell)




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