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Retrospective

Red House Painters

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Album Review

Retrospective collects some of the finest moments from the Red House Painters' albums for 4AD as well as some previously unreleased work. Compiled by Mark Kozelek and Ivo Watts-Russell, this two-CD set features one disc spanning Kozelek's four-album output for the label. Kozelek's cover of Kiss' "Shock Me," which was previously available only on a UK single, opens the first disc; tracks like "Katy Song," "Medicine Bottle," "San Geronimo," "New Jersey," "Mistress," and "Drop" are also included. Demos, outtakes, and live recordings are included on the second disc, including two songs, "Waterkill" and "Instrumental" that were previously unreleased. Alternate versions of Painters favorites like "Japanese to English," "Funhouse," "Dragonflies," and "Brockwell Park" also appear on the second disc, making Retrospective an affordable starting point for newcomers, and a welcome addition for collectors.

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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