Friday, June 11, 2004

New York Times Review of New Wilco Book

wilco book
Greg Kot's new book "Learning How To Die" is reviewed in The New York Times by Joe Klein.

"Rarely has so much attention been paid to a musician who has never quite succeeded commercially, or in his own mind, or in the minds of his oft-perplexed fans. But Tweedy is worth it, for his failures as much as his successes, for the cloudy clarity of his work."

"Through it all, Tweedy has produced some terrific (and not so terrific) music. Each Wilco album is different from the last. Tweedy is a classic autodidact, inhaling books, constantly pushing himself to grow and change. Over time, he has become a better guitar player and learned how to mess with the computerized gimmickry of the modern recording studio. Most important, he has figured out how to sing in an entirely distinctive and compelling way. Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and others, Tweedy has a scratchy, nasal, good-bad voice, which depends on his emotional intelligence and phrasing, rather than timbre, for its effectiveness. His delivery is purposefully nervous, artfully irresolute. He will bend or slur a phrase, pause uncomfortably, allow a note to shatter in mid-attack; at times, it sounds as if he's very close to a nervous breakdown. There is a terrible sadness to it. (As affecting as Tweedy's postmodern angst can be, I sometimes miss the occasional lacerating jolt of angry energy Jay Farrar brought to their collaborations.) "

More on Greg Kot's Wilco book "Learning How To Die".


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