Why it rocks: I make a lot of noise about how much I love Bruce Springsteen. One of the things that the Boss does best is make songs that tell a story, but they often feel meticulously constructed, and they’re always about other people. “Ben’s My Friend” feels like the most effortless story song ever; Mark Kozelek, the guy behind Sun Kil Moon, drops details like someone gave him way more than he needed and he’s trying to get rid of them, and they’re all from his perspective. Eventually it becomes a song about a man at middle age striving to be at peace his level of personal success, especially when comparing himself to his friend, Ben Gibbard. Kozelek covers these heady themes with an addictive acoustic guitar riff and a melancholy sax solo. Listen at Pitchfork.
Listen if you like…: I mentioned Bruce Springsteen, but a more apt comparison from the same time period is probably Elvis Costello. They’ve got the same biting wit. Sun Kil Moon’s modern contemporaries are probably The National and Destroyer (no, not just because of the sax solos).
How’s the album?: Probably better than the last albums released by the two artists I just mentioned. So that means that I think it’s better than Trouble Will Find Me and Kaputt. So that means I think it’s great.