Jeff Tweedy: Warm review – Clear-sighted tenderness and deadpan wit
Warm, the new solo album from Wilco singer and guitarist Jeff Tweedy, explores how we should try to live, while acknowledging that death will happen to us and everyone we love. Acclaimed author George Saunders (who wrote the liner notes) calls Tweedy “our great, wry, American consolation poet” and this record is all consolation.
Tweedy, retains a clear-sighted tenderness, amplified by the recent loss of his father, and the completion of his memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back). But he folds in constructive anger: the squalling guitars on The Red Brick dovetail on to Warm (When the Sun Has Died) where he becomes the red brick – “I keep some heat inside”.
The playful Some Birds sees him sing-speak threats: “I’d love to take you down and leave you there”. While Let’s Go Rain recalls The Beatles, with jangling guitars, and languid vocals, and philosophical inquiry is met with deadpan wit on Don’t Forget: “We all think about dying; don’t let it kill ya.”
The glitchy wonder of From Far Away recalls the Wilco album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but Warm evolved from Tweedy’s solo performances, and a creeping sense that in destructive times, we build. Bombs Above details leaving a “trail of songs… from the darkest gloom, to the brightest sun”, and in doing so, he has produced some of his best work.