Nice ’n Tweedy tunes
WILCO Sky Blue Sky Nonesuch
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