Jeff Tweedy

WARM

dBpm

Dec 07, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


History is often perceived and represented as past tense. Moments and movements that happened, taught in a way in which we can't change these things, but dissect them, eventually learning how to move forward with what we've extracted from their happenings. But how do we handle history when it's written right before our eyes, developing as we start our days every morning, altering and adapting as our own self-awareness grows along with these events?

This is in the conundrum for which Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Wilco and veteran Americana prophet, creates. Since his salad days of screen-door slamming alt-country with Uncle Tupelo and his tenure as experimentalist and pop-mastermind of Wilco, to the mellow paternalism found on his solo works under his birth name, Jeff Tweedy has re-written and composed a separate American history, an individualistic catharsis of middle-aged Midwesterism that manifests as top-of-his-game, capital-A Art. Whatever Tweedy touches turns to gold, and his latest solo album, WARM, is no exception.

Largely composed as a solo endeavor, Tweedy enlists his two sons, Spencer and Sammy, as well as Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, to contribute arrangements across WARM. What materializes is a confounding collection of literary mastery, intertwined with sparse, albeit flummoxing instrumental compositions—tender acoustic and slide-guitar arrangements, adroitly managed bursts of noise, and a rhythm section that puts the movements of life into a neat, cohesive order.

The lyricism on WARM, though maudlin and slightly cloying, such as that on "Don't Forget," "Don't forget/We're all blowing in/The interstellar wind/I'm your little galaxy," achieves a symmetrical order of philosophically inquisitive questions pertaining to matters of life and death, movements of existence and miniature, feeble ripples of being. However small one single life can feel on this earth, the joy, tears, and artistic ecstasy Tweedy has contributed to "this thing we call life" is enough for a lifetime of recorded music. Rest assured, though, that Tweedy is just one of us: "Don't forget sometimes/We all, we all think about dying/Don't let it kill you." (www.wilcoworld.net)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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Mark
December 9th 2018
2:56pm

Great review. I read it with pleasure.