Which recent album is worth buying

I've decided I'm going to buy yet another Mark Kozelek album....I've got yellow kitchen, but not he other three - common as..., 30 seconds, Ben Boye/Jim White

I'm not going to listen to them online as that doesn't seem to help with Mark as something I find awful or dull can change over a couple of months to brilliant!

Any suggestions?


  • Posts: 1,185

    I would go with 30 Seconds out of that group.

  • Posts: 169

    @KozFan said:
    I would go with 30 Seconds out of that group.

    Ok thanks.....how come? One reason?

  • edited January 2018 Posts: 695

    Yes I would go with 30 Seconds out of those. I found Common and Kitchen really boring. I streamed Kitchen whilst waiting for the CD to arrive. I didn’t like it and sold the sealed CD as soon as it arrived. I played Common 3 times, didn’t like it and sold that too. I no longer feel I have to own everything he records and find it liberating after religiously buying anything he put out for many years. 30 Seconds is the best of a bad bunch for me. That said, last time I played it I turned it off a few minutes into Wheat Bread as I really couldn’t be bothered. I don’t think there’s a huge amount of comments on Ben Boye / Jim White yet so wouldn’t imagine its that good

  • 30 Seconds is so much better than the first Jesu / SKM effort. I would say it's worth buying for the beautiful yet haunting Dream Of Winter alone, but that would be unfair to the rest of the tracks.

    Justin Broadrick really found his mojo on that album. His own music is far more in tune with Mark's lyrical contributions. It might have a daft title, but it's excellent nonetheless.

    From my perspective, it is on par with the Jimmy Lavelle and Desertshore collaborations - though clearly it does progress Mark's current approach, but much better than than the other three 2017 albums, and by a significant and impressive margin!

  • Posts: 1,185

    More variety and a single disc lol.

  • Personally I'd say Common As Light, while 30 Seconds has single tracks that are some of Kozelek's best work, I feel like Common As Light is the more enveloping and atmospheric journey that's worth the money. I'd completely understand if you pick 30 Seconds over Common however.

  • 30 Seconds is the easiest to like. The musical settings are pleasant, which they generally aren't on the first Jesu/SKM album, and some of the narratives (Needles Disney in particular) are a cut above the majority of Mark's recent diaristic schtick.
    I came around to Common after a while, but didn't continue listening to it for long. Mark asks a lot of the listener on this album, so you can't just have it on in the background.
    The Boye/White album I listened to once and will never do again. The seemingly improvised musical settings are the last thing Mark's discursive narrative style needs, in my opinion.

  • Posts: 56

    Ben Boye/Jim White is getting an unfair rep here - you should seriously consider it. Some of Mark's greatest ever songs, if you look beyond this forum (which even the best of us will admit is often a lot of grumpy RHP fans) you'll find Topo Gigio - song from the album - being praised as one of his greatest ever works, which I totally agree with, its a masterful intertwining of the present and past, the kind of thing he's always striving for but often misses. The rest are exceptional too, and the music very well matched - songs like House Cat, which on first listen seem to missable, bloom after hearing a live version or listening to the whole album through a couple of times.
    But if I can't convince you I'll say if you find that "something I find awful or dull can change over a couple of months to brilliant" like you say then Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood might be the one - it will maybe, in 200 years, be called Koz's best album, it's mind blowingly good but very, very difficult. Check out Anthony Fantano's review if you wish.

  • Posts: 169

    Some good points here, thanks everyone! I think because I found the last Jesu album so terrible last time, so I guess I could get Common and wait till my 80th birthday before I start to appreciate it.....something to look forward to I guess!

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