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Ocean Beach

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Album Review

Red House Painters has always been Mark Kozelek's project, but Ocean Beach represents the first record that is almost entirely a solo project. Not that that distinction has made a great change in the music — Ocean Beach is a spare, gentle, nearly painfully introspective folk-rock album that draws more from Simon & Garfunkel than Bob Dylan. Kozelek reigns in the droning, experimental tendencies of the group's first full-length album, yet he is more generous with his melodies and arrangements than the band's second untitled record. While Red House Painters remains very arty and self-conscious, Ocean Beach shows the singer/songwriter breaking out of his shell ever so slightly, bringing more fully developed songs and melodies with him.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Red House Painters was primarily the vehicle of singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek, an evocative, compelling performer of rare emotional intensity. Like Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, to whose work the Painters were invariably compared and to whom their early success owed a tremendous debt, Kozelek laid his soul bare on record, conjuring harrowingly acute tales of pain, despair, and loss; unlike Eitzel, Nick Drake, and other poets of decay, Kozelek's autobiographical songs walked their tightrope...
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