Red House Painters

Red House Painters (Roller-Coaster)

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The first of the group's two eponymously titled 1993 efforts is a sprawling, remarkable set distinguished by Mark Kozelek's continuing maturation as a songwriter; far removed from the uniform darkness of Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters offers an expansion of both emotional and musical possibilities. Working outward from the cutting "Mistress" -- included as both a Spartan piano ballad and as a gauzy rock number -- the record moves through a shifting, impressionistic backdrop of textures and sounds; from the luminous folk-pop of "Grace Cathedral Park" to the epic dissonance of the gut-wrenching "Strawberry Hill," the songs resonate with depth and poignancy, and rank as Kozelek's most fully realized collection of compositions.

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