Home Read Classic Album Review: Mark Eitzel | Music for Courage & Confidence

Classic Album Review: Mark Eitzel | Music for Courage & Confidence

The sadcore troubadour reworks some oddball softballs on his bizarre covers set.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


It’s easy to imagine sadcore singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel turning out a cover album of songs by Nick Drake. Or even Nick Cave. But the hits of Anne Murray, Glen Campbell and (heaven help us) Boy George? Now that’s twisted — even for Eitzel, the former leader of American Music Club and a guy whose sense of humour seems just a shade darker than Todd Solondz’s.

He seems to be putting it to work on his seventh solo outing Music For Courage & Confidence, converting oddball softballs like Snowbird, Gentle On My Mind, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? and More, More, More into mellow, melancholy neo-ballads built around soft-centred keyboards, narcotically seductive arrangements and his trademark scratchy, Elvis Costello-ish whisper. Updates of Bill WithersAin’t No Sunshine and Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up take the occasional (or, more appriately, odd) detour into the after-hours clubs of funkytown, but on the whole, this deliciously bleak, beautifully black-hearted disc is better suited to the outpatient lounge than the cocktail lounge.