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Old 06-02-2015, 04:11 PM   #136
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Ugh...
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:02 PM   #137
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I'm not going to click on it. I saw it and my gut dropped. He seems hell-bent on making even his most rusted-on fans hate him.

I need the secret key to separating art and the artist...
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:11 PM   #138
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Art comes from the artist.

And I say that as something of a Wagnerite.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:50 PM   #139
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"And then he sings the song again". Fuck the dude.

And it's not like he only does this shit in his private life. He writes songs about it. And subjects his concert goers to it. So he is the one injecting that stuff into his art. Fuck it.

I've purchased a few of his albums in the past, but I won't be buying it anymore.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:04 AM   #140
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He sounds nice.


Sent from my iPhone using U2 Interference
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:01 AM   #141
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The guy is still a musical genius. But as with Kanye, the whole damn thing feels like it has an asterisk next to it.

Kanye has not been this emptily crass in his public statements, at least not repeatedly.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:06 AM   #142
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Kozelek is worse. Kanye isn't outright offensive, at least he hasn't been for a while.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:11 AM   #143
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I'm just going to ignore this and listen to the music.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:30 AM   #144
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Kanye has not been this emptily crass in his public statements, at least not repeatedly.
I didn't say one was better or worse, just making a rough comparison of what it feels like to be a Sun Kil Moon fan vs a Kanye fan.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:32 AM   #145
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"And then he sings the song again". Fuck the dude.

And it's not like he only does this shit in his private life. He writes songs about it. And subjects his concert goers to it. So he is the one injecting that stuff into his art. Fuck it.

I've purchased a few of his albums in the past, but I won't be buying it anymore.
Even I was growing tired of the War on Drugs thing by the third or fourth mention of it live. Love him but he is making it harder and harder to like him.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:15 PM   #146
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I had no idea this guy had an album of Modest Mouse covers. I might have to check that out.
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:01 AM   #147
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I quite like his cover of "Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes."
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:11 PM   #148
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Why is the Pitchfork review more about Benji than the new album itself?
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:26 PM   #149
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Because THAT GETS THE HITS SON

I am reasonably certain that because they scrapped their review and put a new one together hastily, that the reviewer hasn't actually heard it. The way they talk about "This Is My First Day..." makes it incredibly clear he doesn't understand the song.

Universal Themes is getting better every time I hear it. It's incredible.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #150
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Finally listened to it. I was enamoured with Benji immediately; not so much with this. (Perhaps, hopefully, it will grown on me, as it's quite clearly much less accessible.) I read along with the lyric sheet, which for the first time ever I'm not sure was a great idea, as it seems to take his worst lyrical excesses and double down them a lot, and rarely is the music beautiful or engaging enough to make it okay. The lyrics are pretty tedious a lot of the time. On Benji, those hyper-autobiographical lyrics combined with beautiful, subdued music, innocent, genuine vocals and a relatable overarching theme that ensured most, if not all, the songs resonated quite deeply. On most of the songs here (most, if not all, of which well overstay their welcome) you get all the autobiographical stuff without a wider lens, and it just doesn't inspire the astonishment in me that Benji did. We get it, you're in another country, you woke up, you had a conversation in broken English, you thought about your girlfriend, you watched a TV show, you think about boxing a lot, etc etc etc, and this minutiae is universal, but where's the universal themes?

Some of the good:

I don't recall The Possum sounding like this, but it's still a pretty great song, I think. I looooove the guitar during the slow, spoken-word verses in the latter half of the song, that works really well, as well as the drumming that comes in before the last minute. The flamenco guitar part at the end is completely superfluous and doesn't fit the mood of the previous eight minutes at all though. Birds of Flims is pretty nice. With a Sort of Grace I was expecting to be a lengthy, navel-gazing trip so I was pretty surprised to find that it's relatively heavy. The guitar is good and the quieter interludes are nice, although strange given how different the rest of the song is. Garden of Lavender is one of the better songs on the album. Just some nice guitar playing and it is one of the few songs that seems to have that Benji penchant of connecting something random (tending to his lavender) to the wider human experience (The Possum is the only other one). I still don't think it could match it with most, if not all, of Benji's tracks, but yeah. It's good. I recall not liking Ali/Spinks 2 at all when it came out but it too is one of the better tracks here. Like the guitar, huge fan of the lengthy instrumental part around 90 seconds. The closing track has some good moments too.

But there's a lot of ordinary stuff too. The one-two of Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues and Little Rascals is a real fucking slog. The former could honestly be someone doing a pisstake of Kozelek. Self-referential at the start but just not that funny and then he spends the next six minutes speak-singing about random events because "well what the fuck". But unlike Micheline or I Watched the Film it really feels like "well what the fuck" and the music doesn't inspire. Little Rascals is worse, following a "this happened then this happened" pattern most of the way through, interspersed by flamenco guitar breaks with distant vocals that just make the song drag even more.

tl;dr - parts of this album are quite good; other parts are not. It feels like he just writes a whole bunch of shit all the time and he decided he had enough to release an album.

I also can't help but feel that I've been soured a bit by the things he's said and done since Benji came out. And it's clearly on his mind, too, "all you do is bitch bitch bitch" on Williamsburgetc. I agree with much, if not all, of the Pitchfork review
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