Tweedy: Sukierae (dBpm/ANTI-) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, February 23rd, 2020  

Tweedy

Sukierae

dBpm/ANTI-

Oct 09, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Wilco's first big splash as a band came with their sophomore release, 1996's Being There. A double album stuffed to the brim with varying styles, moods, and themes, it remains an enjoyable and eclectic listen as a tour through rock and roll and alt-country history. It is also the best comparison for Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy's new project, a double album released under the name Tweedy. Titled Sukierae, the nickname of his wife Sue, the album also features drumming by Tweedy's 18-year-old son, Spencer. It's worth noting that Spencer was born directly before the recording of Being There, and that his birth influenced some of the themes present on that album. Now, he's playing right alongside his father, and is at least partially responsible for some of his best musical output in at least a decade.

Like Being There, Sukierae is long and eclectic. It runs well over an hour and dabbles in many styles, from tender folk ("Honey Combed," "Fake Fur Coat") to fuzzy pop-rock ("Low Key," "I'll Sing It") to dense, noisy experimental rock ("Diamond Light Pt. 1," "Slow Love"). This is obviously nothing newWilco has dabbled in stylistic flexibility for yearsbut after a few albums' worth of heavily-produced, layered Wilco compositions, it's refreshing to hear such explorations rendered so simply. Most of the songs here consist of little more than acoustic guitar, drums, and bass. Occasionally an electric lead guitar comes in, but more often, the songs are carried by Tweedy's charmingly weary vocals and precise songwriting and not by instrumental prowess.

That's not to discount Spencer's drumming, thoughhe's extremely talented for his age. His is a technical style that doesn't rely too heavily on cymbal work and that, on tracks like "Diamond Light Pt. 1," completely set the groove. In fact, almost all of Sukierae's 20 tracks pleasantly roll along on great rhythmic grooves. The album's unhurried nature, while one of its best features, doesn't exactly demand attention, and it's prone to fade into the background at times. But listened to in short bursts, or perhaps sitting on a porch while the autumn sun sets, Sukierae shines as Jeff Tweedy's best work in years, and a masterclass in his characteristic songwriting (www.wilcoworld.net).

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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