WARM by Jeff Tweedy
It’s been a while since I paid attention to Wilco or their lead singer/songwriter, Jeff Tweedy. Wilco’s album The Whole Love was at #18 back in 2011, but Star Wars and Schmilco, their 2015 and 2016 albums, went in one ear and out the other, never to be heard from again. I don’t think I ever even heard Tweedy’s debut solo album from 2017, Together at Last.
But now it’s 2018, and at the suggestion of a friend (thanks Pete!), I find that Tweedy has managed to put out a new album that actually begged for more than just a cursory listen. WARM, Tweedy’s 2nd solo album, and 21st overall album when you look back at his work with Wilco and before that, Uncle Tupelo, is exactly that: “warm.” The album is easy to listen to, never boisterous, a joy.
There used to be a radio station in Seattle called “The Mountain”, that would play all those softer “alternative” (but not indie) songs by the likes of the Dave Matthews Band. Then when they went under, the torch was picked up by “Warm 106.1” — even a little more softer, a little more easy-listening. It is without irony or ire that I propose that many songs from Jeff Tweedy’s WARM would have fit right in on Warm 106.1’s programming. While I never listened to 103.7 The Mountain or Warm 106.1 with any regularity, they had their permanent place in the set radio stations in my car, and I would flip to them from time to time, pleasantly surprised at the approachable song emanating from those airwaves.
Such is WARM. Not an album I’ll likely listen to on repeat, but one that I’ll throw into a mix to balance out the excitement, to bring in a moment of reduction. Or put on on an early weekend morning to slowly wake up to the day. If you’ve been a fan of Wilco before, or, maybe, the Grateful Dead and the like, then WARM may be just the thing to get you back into Jeff Tweedy’s embrace.
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