CD Reviews: Sun Kil Moon’s latest is killer | VailDaily.com
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CD Reviews: Sun Kil Moon’s latest is killer

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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“April” Caldo Verde Records

I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone else on the planet to write such melancholy songs and make them sound so appealing and meaningful. I speak for myself of course, but everybody I’ve talked to that’s heard a Sun Kil Moon album walks away feeling touched by it in some fashion. Not even Ryan Adams does the whole sad-bastard thing this good and he pretty much wrote the book on it.

Their newest release is fittingly titled “April,” since it’s being released during the same month. Frontman and songwriter for the band, Mark Kozelek, has created another album full of powerful, well-written tunes with a story-telling tilt. Kozelek’s voice is unmistakable and makes songs that would otherwise seem like they drag on forever (more than a few clock in at over seven minutes) to come across as fresh and concise the entire running time.

None of the songs on “April” even come close to rocking out. Instead, Kozelek keeps the vibe dim and introspective ” it helps if you’re in a certain mood while listening to it to be sure. It’s rainy-day music with sunny-day appeal.

Charlie Owen, High Life writer

“Plunder, Beg, and Curse,” Fat Possum Records

Is it just me or are all of the really good indie-rock bands coming from the South right now? Colour Revolt, from Oxford, Mississippi, just released “Plunder, Beg, and Curse,” the follow up to their self-titled EP. Not only is their new album completely original and refreshing, but it’s full of twists and turns that will keep the listener guessing what the band could possibly end up doing next.

“Plunder, Beg, and Curse” is rife with guitar layering and crazy tones, surprise changes in tempo and solid lyrics. Musical influences can be picked out all over the album ” everything from Sonic Youth to Nirvana and of course Modest Mouse ” but none of that matters because they don’t ever conform to just one style long enough to peg the inspiration.

Like many artists from the South, their music is littered with religious symbolism. The first song on the album, “Naked And Red,” begins with the lyrics “God is swinging from the liquor tree/licking everything he finds/God knows all about you and me/lucky I got something to hide.”

One of the best songs on the album is called “Moses Of The South.” Mixing all that potent spiritual content with blazing guitars makes for some pretty heavy rock ‘n’ roll. If Colour Revolt played in a church, I’d be there every Sunday.

Charlie Owen, High Life writer

“Karibu” Blue Note Records

Even by modern jazz standards, “Karibu” is much more than typical. At times it’s all over the place with improvisation and intense melody structures, at others it’s all about Lionel Loueke and his guitar playing with only sparse percussion to back him up. That’s what makes Loueke’s latest release so charming ” it’s not afraid to break the rules or take chances in the name of advancing the art of jazz.

With special guest Herbie Hancock playing piano on “Seven Teens” and “Light Dark,” Loueke shows his amazing talent at jamming with the best of them. Sax legend Wayne Shorter also pops up on the song “Naima,” while Loueke blends into the song instead of dominating it.

Having learned to play the guitar all over the world and from many different teachers, Loueke makes the most of his education on “Karibu.” He uses standard jazz practices as well as incorporating sounds from West Africa, his native land, where he was first introduced to the guitar.

“Karibu” is rich in world-music influences and innovative techniques. If you like your jazz to think outside the box then this album is not to be missed.

Charlie Owen, High Life writer


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