After a two week stretch of listening to nothing but Wilco in preparation, Jeff Tweedy’s newest release is finally here. The album, a collaboration with Jeff’s 18-year-old son Spencer, is titled Sukierae and is put out under a new moniker: Tweedy. It features two discs and twenty tracks, clocking in at over seventy minutes.
The appreciation of new sounds is garnered through listening to the album in the way Tweedy designed them. Take a break and let the first disk sink in before touching the second. It’s not a twenty-track release, but instead two ten-track releases meant to be tackled as separate beasts.
In typical Wilco fashion, the album never settles. It doesn’t decide on rock, alternative, or country, but instead melds each together in new ways depending on the song at hand. You never know if the next track is going to remind you of “Poor Places”, “Please Be Patient With Me” or something entirely new.
Portions of the album sound borrowed, like the start of “I’ll Sing It,” which might as well be Ray LaMontagne’s “Drive-In Movies,” or the beginning of the first album, which reminds me of the Grateful Dead at points. But all in all, the album shines as an extension of Wilco. The problems that swirled around the album’s release permeate the entire record. Everything from Jeff Tweedy’s wife and Spencer Tweedy’s mother recent cancer diagnosis to children growing older get entwined into the album’s lyrics.
Listening to Sukierae provides a hurricane of mellowed emotions that is in no way overbearing, but instead succinct and coherent within its lifespan. Lucky for us, it’s a lifespan that can easily be relived when we press replay.
RIYL: Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Del Amitri, Wilco
Key Tracks: “Hazel,” “Slow Love,” “Nobody Dies Anymore”