Jeff Tweedy – Love Is The King – Album Review
by Killian Laher
The title of Tweedy’s 2018 album Warm summed him up as a solo proposition. That’s what he does, warm, acoustic music that’s the aural equivalent of a cosy hug. This one is a perfectly sundappled collection. It opens with the steady guitar plucking of the title track, which stutters along agreeably for three minutes before a beautifully discordant acoustic guitar solo takes the track in another direction.
There’s maximum jauntiness on show for Opaline, belying the bleak imagery of the lyrics (“there’s nothing worse than a hearse driving slow”) and the amiable shuffle A Robin or a Wren. Elsewhere, shades of the Beatles with a little Dylan thrown in on agreeable strums Gwendolyn and Natural Disaster. Guess Again is a bit Wilco by numbers… except it’s Tweedy… but the point still holds true.
The more stripped-down material is more satisfying. The uncertain guitar unfolding of Bad Day Lately is a pleasantly brooding piece of music. Even I Can See could be a bit mushy in other hands (“I’ll tell you about my wife and what she means to me”) but it’s rescued by some acoustic guitar work which is both melodic and a little off-kilter at the same time.
The drowsy, draggy (in a good way) Troubled has some really fine understated guitar work. Half-Asleep, far from its title, builds and builds to a rousing coda and is sure to make you want to hit play on the album again.
It’s a bit like a Wilco album done on acoustic (mostly) guitars, which shouldn’t work but it DOES. Jeff Tweedy’s solo albums are, in their own way, as strong as the Wilco albums.
1. Love Is The King
3. A Robin Or A Wren
5. Bad Day Lately
6. Even I Can See
7. Natural Disaster
8. Save It For Me
9. Guess Again
11. Half Asleep