Nice ’n Tweedy tunes

WILCO Sky Blue Sky None­such

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - KEVIN COURT­NEY

New be­gin­nings are plainly on the minds of Jeff Tweedy and his co­horts, and Wilco’s sixth album has the air of wak­ing up af­ter a long hang­over, find­ing the world has changed, shrug­ging your shoul­ders and sim­ply get­ting on with life.

Tweedy has taken a long, hard road to reach his present point of ac­cep­tance – drink be­ing just one of the demons he has wres­tled. But, hav­ing scored a brace of Gram­mys with 2004’s A Ghost Is Born, and hav­ing en­joyed ever-ris­ing lev­els of ac­claim, Tweedy is clearly in­spired enough to take his mu­sic fur­ther into the mys­tic.

Sky Blue Sky sees two new per­ma­nent mem­bers join­ing the four­some – jazz/rock gui­tarist Neils Cline and key­boardist Pat San­sone – with the re­sult that Wilco are now a fully func­tion­ing coun­try-soul-pop re­vue. As the band mem­bers weave their way around Tweedy’s lyrics, they touch on Ten­nessee coun­try, Mo­town soul, west coast AOR and Mersey­side pop jan­gle. It all fits to­gether so seam­lessly it’s like lis­ten­ing to a su­per­star ses­sion fea­tur­ing Way­lon Jen­nings, Otis Red­ding, Keith Richards and Brian Wil­son.

Jazzy gui­tar lines join forces with grooved-out Ham­mond or­gans, while stac­cato Kings of Leon-style riffs make smash-and-grab raids. Ei­ther Way finds Tweedy tak­ing an equani­mous view of fu­ture out­comes, while Side with the Seeds takes a sim­ple con­cept and nur­tures it to a full-grown metaphor.

Walken is not about the movie star, but is a coun­try- boo­gie strut about the plea­sures of per­am­bu­la­tion, while Hate It Here de­scribes the ev­ery­day cop­ing of a bro­ken-hearted man, as he gets down to the nitty gritty of work­ing the wash­ing ma­chine. www.wilcoworld.net

Jeff Tweedy (sec­ond from right) and Wilco: now a fully func­tion­ing coun­try-soul-pop re­vue

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