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Review: Tweedy delivers acoustic re-imagining of Wilco songs

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/21/2017 By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
This cover image released by dBpm Records shows "Together At Last," the latest release by Jeff Tweedy. (dBpm Records via AP) © The Associated Press This cover image released by dBpm Records shows "Together At Last," the latest release by Jeff Tweedy. (dBpm Records via AP)

Jeff Tweedy, "Together at Last" (dBpm Records)

With its paradoxical title, "Together at Last" features Wilco songwriter and lead singer Jeff Tweedy all alone with just his acoustic guitar and occasionally a harmonica.

Read one way, the title "Together at Last" could refer to Tweedy and his songs being brought together in a new way, without any interference, or contributions, from other musicians.

There are no new compositions on "Together at Last." Instead, Tweedy re-imagines 11 songs previously recorded with either Wilco or Tweedy's other side projects Golden Smog and Loose Fur.

With each song, Tweedy invites the listener into his Chicago recording loft to hear the familiar in a new way.

The versions Tweedy lays down here are similar to how he plays the songs when he tours solo without Wilco. For anyone unfamiliar with those arrangements, it could be quite a jolt hearing Wilco standards like "Via Chicago" and "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" laid bare.

By stripping the songs down to their essence, lyrics that may have gotten lost in the previous full-band arrangements also now shine through, allowing the listener to re-engage with a new perspective.

So maybe "Together at Last" refers not to Tweedy's relationship with the songs, but ours.

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