Mark Kozelek, Rock 'N' Roll Singer (Badman): Mark Kozelek led the Red House Painters, and under his strong hand, the band released a series of amazing recordings on the 4AD label during the early-to-mid-'90s. Some people compare the group to the mysterious and legendary Nick Drake, and, listening to Kozelek's first solo effort, Rock 'N' Roll Singer, it's easy to see why. But it's also easy to hear what's special about this dreamy romantic. He includes three (!) AC/DC songs here, but unless you read the credits you'd think these were Kozelek originals, so distinctive are his interpretations. "Rock 'N' Roll Singer," done as a ballad of course, is rightfully the title track. The Neil Youngish electric guitar will give you a rush, as will Kozelek when he sings, "I had the devil in my blood/ Telling me what to do.../Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer/ Gonna be a rock 'n' roll star." Simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking. — Michael Goldberg

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