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Album: Mark Eitzel, Klamath, (Decor Records)

Since Rolling Stone proclaimed him songwriter of the year in 1991, Eitzel ("the American Morrissey") has done his level best to live up to such praise and, mostly (and characteristically), he's failed.

It's as if, the more he tries to make records people will love, the further he travels from his gentle gift. This time, he says, "I've made the kind of record I would want to listen to". And guess what? It's gorgeous and every bit as good as those early American Music Club records. Lesson learnt. Please yourself.