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Friday, May 18, 2007

Music Review
Sky Blue Sky
Wilco
* * *
After a rough couple of years, including a rehab stint, and other personal problems, I expected something more dense and difficult from Jeff Tweedy. Something like Neil Young's On the Beach. Instead, this is Wilco's most mellow album. EW said it was "the best album the Eagles never made." The album, like Midlake's Van Occupanther, could certainly have been from the 70's, and probably would have enjoyed some fanfare. Tweedy is trying here, more than ever, to make his lyrics more personal, employing a search for something greater, some sort of meaning, and these lyrics often have some quite sublime moments. The problem is that Tweedy has always written some rather silly lyrics, and like John Fogerty, he writes silly lyrics rather seriously, and on this album, with such a sparse musical accompaniment they sort of stand out when they don't work as well. Nells Cline is the star of this album, further establishing himself as one of the best guitarists of his generation, and his complex solos really save the album from utter mediocrity. It's listenable, and enjoyable, but after two dense, exciting albums, it comes off sort of flat.



Movie Review
Severance
* * 1/2
I saw this film almost a year ago, but I guess it's getting a limited release this week. A fun revisionist, ultraviolent, slasher film. The premise? The Office meets The Hills Have Eyes. It's fun, inventive, and sometimes funny, but not as consistent as say Shaun of the Dead. Then again nothing is. As far as horror comedies go it's almost as good as Return of the Living dead, and that's not all bad.

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