Red House Painters (Bridge)
Released later in 1993, and consisting of outtakes from the previous self-titled album, this self-titled record is referred to as Bridge due to its cover image. Even at 45 minutes, it still feels slight compared to its predecessor, with only eight songs, including two covers and an electric version of ‘New Jersey’ from the preceding album.
While Bridge is arguably the weakest Painters album, it still has its share of highlights. These highlights include the melancholic ‘Uncle Joe’, where Kozelek exhibits a mostly closeted humour as he weaves the group’s name into the bridge (“I am not very well read/And did you say that I will lose my house/And can you spare me of my pain/And can you spare me of my tears“), and the full band version of ‘New Jersey’, which is a marked improvement over the earlier acoustic version. The reworked cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘I Am A Rock’ is also effective, and ‘Bubble’ is a nice low key piece.
It’s difficult to argue anything other than that Bridge is among the lesser works of Kozelek’s oeuvre, but if you enjoy his other work there’s still plenty to like here too.