Like RatsIt is of little surprise to anyone who has breezed through these pages before that I’m rather partial to the Cover Version. ¬†Reasons for my love of this particular form of expression are many and have no doubt been mentioned before – a new slant on old favourites, a previously unseen roadmap/blueprint from much-appreciated artists, a way of discovering previously unknown material or sometimes just goofing off for entertainment purposes. ¬†Out of the previously-listed criteria for what I usually enjoy from a collection of someone doing a bunch of songs by other people, I honestly have no idea where to file this one, and the way that I went through the first listen was fraught with myriad temptations that would have meant that it would have taken several hours to get from one end to the other.
Mark Kozelek of course isn’t averse to knocking out the odd cover version (and knocking them out of the park), and something particular to his treatments of classics, favourites and assorted others is that they are well and truly bent around his own personal outlook to the point that they are scarcely recognisable as covers, fitting in cuckoo-like among his own body of work. Like Rats is sort of a continuation of this; thirteen songs from a very broad church that make perfect sense here due to the way that they have been reconstructed, and a palpable sense of the joy of reinterpretation and making completely new versions that retain those precious few moments of “Hang on, I know this one…”

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