The themes of death, depression and time’s wear and tear don’t typically attract the masses, even if the label does say Warm. However, Jeff Tweedy is the man you’d want consoling you if you’ve got a case of the winter blues, he is one of the most engaging songwriters of his generation.
Since the late 1980’s, the leader of the group Wilco has continued to amaze us with his heartfelt lyrics that discuss personal struggles - with a touch of humour and wit, of course. Tweedy has been working here and there with others, but since 2010 he has often worked with one of the great queens of soul, Mavis Staples, whom he produces for and with whom he co-writes (the albums You Are Not Alone in 2010 and One True Vine in 2013). In 2014, he released an album in a duo with his drummer son Spencer (Sukierae). In 2017 when he finally released a record in his own name, Together at Last, it was a false start to his solo career since it was composed exclusively of old Wilco songs and his Golden Smog and Loose Fur projects, which he revisited in acoustic form.
With Warm, Jeff Tweedy is completely in command and the repertoire is 100% new, yet still reflects his familiar, American style. He manages to find, once again, the perfect balance between bitter and sweet and impresses us both with his pure melodies (I Know What It’s Like) or as a noisy rocker (The Red Brick). When he ends the song Some Birds with the sentence: I break bricks with my heart, only a fool would call it art Tweedy proves why he is one of the best rock poets of the era.
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