Secret Meeting score: 78
by Philip Moss
Deep into the winter of last year, Jeff Tweedy released his first solo album proper, WARM. It was a slow burner of a record that, had it been put out in earlier in the year, probably – and quite rightly – would have been at the sharp end of many end of year best of lists.
Just five months on, Tweedy has released its ‘sister album’, WARMER, as a limited, vinyl only release for Record Store Day. And it’s a collection of songs recorded during the same Chicago sessions, with Tweedy taking care of all vocals and instrumentation, but for drums, which are provided by his son, Spencer.
Lead single, Family Ghost, is perhaps the collection’s most immediate cut, but – as was the case with WARM – this record is littered with beautiful, reflective moments that more than warrant their own billing, and, most importantly, repeat listens. Driven by a shuffling acoustic guitar and double tracked vocals, Ten Sentences trucks along with more than a smattering of Grateful Deadisms. Sick Server looks back most explicitly on his life on the road, and his returning to childhood through dreams. But the star of the show is Silent Landscape – a gloriously understated song that will slowly weave its way under your skin and, to my mind, reveal itself to be one of the best tracks written by Tweedy to date.
Fans of WARM will equally enjoy WARMER, but – while there are no surprises here – it would be amiss to say they’re one and the same. WARMER is more mournful in tone, but no less of an example of how lucky we are to be the beneficiaries of Tweedy’s fine penmanship.