To some, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco were the people that made the noughties worth living with his and their shards of myopic observation and songs of equal delicacy and wanton destruction. ‘Together at Last’ is a collection of Tweedy’s songs stripped bare of ornamentation and simply placed one after another in no particular order featuring only Tweedy on guitar and vocals with the occasional toot of a harmonica to leaven the puritanical taste. And this is the vibe. Respectful, almost hushed reverence as classic songs unfold simply with stark arrangements beautifully produced in the now famed Loft studio.
Each song, we already know, is a pearl but here they begin to reveal hitherto hidden strengths as songs that may well stand the test of time as classics of the form. Tweedy’s voice helps with its emotive burr and understated keening. ‘Ashes of American Flags’ becomes a stately ghost poem conjuring up images and emotions way beyond the simply melancholia. ‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ takes the form of a shuffle, a walking blues if you will. The snapping of fingers would not be out of place! A remarkable, simple reinvigoration.
Is this for completists only? Absolutely not, quite the opposite. Fans will rush back to the originals after listening. New listeners will be unwrapping only the outer layer of box of delights that will take them on an aural journey that could last a lifetime.
Remarkable, simple reinvigorations of great songs