Piercing baritone vocals played over muscular guitars with occasional harmonious saxophone. 52 years have done wonders to Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon. The tracks of his new album I Also Want To Die In New Orleans run on for far too long as well as expressing his love for animals. With his narrative and rather lazy writing style, I Also Want To Die In New Orleans is another surprise to listeners but at the same time… not. The title of this track is perhaps a humerious nod to Suicideboys most recent album I Want To Die In New Orleans. The album starts off effortlessly delivered through a story. Mark Kozelek makes it apparent he is back in America whereas his last album This Is My Dinner, was recorded in different countries as he was traveling the world. He unleashes an uncomfortable feeling of humor occasionally throughout his songs. The first track “Coyote” puts listeners in a scene of a manipulative mother murdering her five year old daughter and eventually steers away from it humorously:
“But I could pretty much watch anybody perform, to be honest
One of my favorite performers is Jimmy Swaggart
I could watch him sing gospels all day
But anyhow, after Psalm 4, the silver staff band
He said, “Please change this, I can’t take it anymore
This sounds like Tears for Fears”
In your usual Kozelek masterpiece, you find him talking about some tragedy he heard on the news or looking back at a past death he had. What sets I Also Want To Die In New Orleans apart from his most recent works is that he emphasizes animals above anything he’d usually write. The album cover displays a blurry photo of a cat, paired with song names such as “Coyote” or “Cow”. Kozelek has had a trend in his music, mentioning the Florida shooting and movies he watched.
The album to me seems a bit underwhelming. Despite the dreary ambient guitar tone, the droned instrumentals emphasize vocals only, and that is not what I usually look for in a well rounded quality album. I do respect the bravery Kozelek has shown through his newer releases. One notable release being his self-titled LP (Mark Kozelek), where he utilized his Iphone voice memos rather than being in a high production studio. I would give I Also Want To Die In New Orleans a 5/10 in instrumentation since I am very big on fresh and interesting changes and innovative phrasing. For Mark Kozelek’s bare bones honesty, I would give him a 7/10 just based on the fact he talks about whatever he wants in whatever song he chooses. Overall, I Also Want To Die In New Orleans is a mere 6/10 at best. Even though this album just seems like another Kozelek scheme, I respect the bravery and laziness he displays throughout everything he’s done in his lifetime.