Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Kozelek is simply continuing on his way here, but that said, to stand apart from all the superlatives and just get lost in his creation here, he has made the best record of his career.
  2. Not as good as the best work from Kozelek, and a long shot from the worst, April is a solid, if not surprising album that should be just enough for fans.
  3. Alternative Press
    70
    The best comparison for April is Neil Young. [June 2008, p.131]
  4. Throughout, Kozelek connects memory to emotion with masterful strokes.
  5. April, the third Sun Kil Moon album by Kozelek and friends, has several such sweet spots, the kind we hope will never end.
  6. There’s not much to be said about an album that exists exactly as it should, satisfied by its own completion and purpose and really looking to nothing else for motivation or worth or whatever.
  7. As with Mark's other musical incarnations, whether as Red House Painters or under his own name, a fine-tuned and patient ear, and a good turn of the volume knob towards high, is required to fully appreciate the nuances of his music.
  8. At times hypnotic in their understatement, every so often they gently erupt with vivid melodies that bring the underlying air of tension to its peak.
  9. If April demonstrates Kozelek’s predilection for reaching backwards, in places it also finds him broadening his range.
  10. 70
    As lovely as that sounds, April loses momentum under such a reserved approach.
  11. Mojo
    80
    This third Sun il Moon album demonstrates Kozelek spinning luminescent textural webs on original compositions which, like the ravishing 'Moorestown,' rank among his very finest.
  12. Much of April is quite lovely. Sure, it sounds like one long song to me, but it’s a nice song, with subtle variations.
  13. This sense of loneliness haunts Kozelek’s best work, and it’s in full force throughout April, arguably the finest album of his career.
  14. The album draws its power not simply from the quality of Kozelek's songwriting, but from the close intertwining of words and music, which makes his albums much more essential than any book he could ever publish.
  15. Though its scope and scale are nothing short of admirable, April is far from perfect: Kozelek largely places it safe with his arrangements this time out, shying away form the loud rock guitars and pop songs that marked the final days of the Painters.
  16. The effect of all this quietness and patient exploration of song structure can be transcendent or it can be incredibly boring, and for both better and worse, April is more of the same.
  17. Mark Kozelek defines the term “artist” and April is yet another notch on his belt, an enveloping experience that calmly and quietly wins its way into your heart.
  18. But really, it's Kozelek's voice in all its imperfect glory that makes April (and indeed all of his other work) as wonderful as it is.
  19. April, his third full-length under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, and the first made up of new songs since 2003, easily bears the weight of expectations, proving once again that he really does transcend any slowcore or singer-songwriter tags that have been tossed his way.
  20. So, caveat auditor: this album is deep and often rich, but it definitely wants, even requires, you to pay attention.
  21. Uncut
    80
    Few chronicle heartbreak with such methodical, forensic attention. [May 2008, p.111]
  22. Under The Radar
    80
    April lulls and hums with the tranquil peace of solitude and ranks as Kozelek's most focused, and highest achievement. [Spring 2008, p.80]
  23. A song or two will keep you warm and contented, but take in the full album and April will smother you worse than a down comforter in July.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Mar 20, 2011
    7
    If this is all you had by this guy, you'd love the album, but I gotta say that he has so much other similar material that's better, it's hardIf this is all you had by this guy, you'd love the album, but I gotta say that he has so much other similar material that's better, it's hard to spend much time listening to this. Really hasn't done anything new, albeit created another beautiful record. Full Review »
  2. MikeE.
    Apr 10, 2008
    6
    After the perfection of Ghosts of the Great Highway, Tiny Cities was a letdown, but this is just...kinda vanilla. Am I hearing the same album After the perfection of Ghosts of the Great Highway, Tiny Cities was a letdown, but this is just...kinda vanilla. Am I hearing the same album as everyone else? After 6 listens, only the second half is starting to grow on me. Of course this album is better than almost anything else out there these days, but the melodies just aren't there this time around. I guess anything's disappointing after Ghosts. Full Review »
  3. GuyH.
    Apr 10, 2008
    9
    Ah, the wonderful 'April'. This reminds me of the RHP album Old Ramon more than the Sun Kil Moon debut - which is to say it is an Ah, the wonderful 'April'. This reminds me of the RHP album Old Ramon more than the Sun Kil Moon debut - which is to say it is an intense, sprawling album that requires several listens before you can begin to fully appreciate it as a whole. 'Ghosts' had a lightness of touch and the songs for the most part were more concise - I miss that and have to admit I was expecting Mark to continue in that direction. However, now that I've lived with 'April' for 2 weeks I can barely find fault with it. 'Heron Blue', 'Bilbao' and the heart wrenching (even by Mark's standards so that is saying something!) 'Blue Orchids' are just perfect. Will Oldham pops in to sing on a few tracks and as you'd expect it is a perfect vocal marriage - and adds some welcome variety. Don't believe me - listen to Mark's solo version of 'Like a River' on the second disc and try not add in Will's backing vocals - it sounds naked without them. A contendor for best of the year and one to file alongside the triumphant return of Amercan Music Club (The Golden Age). Full Review »