Jeff Tweedy – Live Is The King (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

(Last Updated On: January 5, 2022)

Jeff Tweedy – Live Is The King (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 00:42:03 minutes | 811 MB | Genre: Folk Rock, Singer-Songwriter
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © dBpm Records

Jeff Tweedy’s recent solo album gets a deluxe edition with Love Is the King/Live Is the King, which features a bonus disc housing live versions of all 11 original songs from Love Is the King. The bonus disc also includes a cover of Neil Young’s “The Old Country Waltz,” which Tweedy shared alongside the deluxe edition announcement.

It has been clear from the start that Wilco was first and foremost Jeff Tweedy’s vehicle, one where he’s given his collaborators plenty of space to show off their talents but ultimately in the service of his songs and his musical vision. Since Wilco is at heart whatever Jeff wants it to be, it’s interesting that he’s belatedly taken on a solo career, perhaps to create a separate musical identity for some of his work, or perhaps to lessen the appearance that he’s Wilco’s benevolent tyrant (as opposed to the strategy that led Mark E. Smith to famously say, “If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s the Fall”). In 2018, Jeff Tweedy brought out his first solo album of original material, Warm, 11 songs of comfort and compassion in the midst of difficult times, with its sibling companion piece, Warmer, arriving in 2019. 2020’s Love Is the King feels like a blend of the themes and approach of Warm and Warmer with the more experimental bent of Sukierae, the 2014 album Jeff made with his son Spencer Tweedy on drums under the group name Tweedy. Love Is the King is the unofficial second Tweedy album, as Jeff and Spencer take on all the instrumental duties, while Spencer’s brother Sammy contributes the occasional harmony vocal. Sukierae was built on songs about coping with tragedy, and Warm and Warmer were about looking for solace in the midst of a chaotic world; Love Is the King embraces all of that, in hope as well as fear. Created in part because Jeff and his sons were stranded at home by the COVID-19 pandemic with little to do and much to think about, Love Is the King sounds like the product of a lot of thinking while lying awake at 2 a.m., sometimes in search of soothing emotions and sometimes with the passing shadows seeming more than a bit scary. The album also invests the exploratory sound of Jeff’s more adventurous compositions (suggesting a more homespun version of Big Star’s third album) with flashes of Warm’s homey twang, giving familiar themes a personality that comes from the head as well as the heart. It would be easy to look at Love Is the King as a holding action while waiting for fate to allow Wilco to get back to work; in some respects, that’s exactly what it is, but it’s also heartfelt, honest, and brave in Jeff’s willingness to open up about what’s good and what’s frightening about life in 2020, without writing songs guaranteed to outlive their usefulness when the year is out. Like much of Jeff Tweedy’s music (especially since Wilco’s brief hiatus in late 2017), Love Is the King is his very personal reaction to an increasingly difficult time in America’s history. He doesn’t pretend to have answers, yet this music is his own kind of therapy, recognizing his emotions and working through them before they devour him, and he makes both the process and the challenges well worth hearing. – Mark Deming

1. Love Is The King (Live) (04:44)
2. Opaline (Live) (04:48)
3. A Robin or A Wren (Live) (02:40)
4. Gwendolyn (Live) (03:18)
5. Bad Day Lately (Live) (03:08)
6. Even I Can See (Live) (03:22)
7. Natural Disaster (Live) (03:01)
8. Save It For Me (Live) (03:17)
9. Guess Again (Live) (03:14)
10. Troubled (Live) (02:54)
11. Half-Asleep (Live) (04:17)
12. The Old Country Waltz (Live) (03:20)


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