Album Review: Mark Kozelek | Sings Christmas Carols

The madness of the last 18 months or so chez Kozelek reaches its logical (?) conclusion with the release of his album of Christmas carols. Of late, Mark Kozelek has sung with a bitter, dismissive middle-aged edge to his voice. A lot of what he has said and sung about has been hard to take seriously. However on this album, he plays it straight. The album is a collection of Christmas songs sung mainly over finger-picked guitar. A lot of the time he sounds faintly hilarious, singing “Do You Hear What I Hear” with sincerity.

The opening few tracks suit Kozelek quite well, singing Christmas Time Is Here and The Pretenders’ 2000 Miles in his own downbeat style over a moodily plucked guitar. However elsewhere, it’s simply odd to hear his take on O Come All Ye Faithful, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night.

An EP would have been easier to take, fourteen tracks of this is something of an endurance test. The bottom line here is: Mark Kozelek will do whatever the hell he likes, thank you very much. I’m looking forward to his pension ad voiceovers, mini series cameos, and a book of kids’ fairytales.

Killian Laher

1. Christmas Time Is Here
2. Do You Hear What I Hear
3. 2,000 Miles
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful
5. O Christmas Tree
6. Away In A Manger
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
9. Silent Night
10. The First Noel
11. I Believe In Father Christmas
12. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
13. What Child Is This
14. The Christmas Song

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