Jeff Tweedy’s band Wilco have become synonymous with experimentalism and sonic adventures. However, this first instalment in a planned series of acoustic sessions continues the more stripped-down trajectory which began with 2014 solo debut, Sukierae. This time, Tweedy revisits his own labyrinthine back catalogue for 11 songs spanning occasional projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog as well as Wilco. Delivering them with just guitar and harmonica, Neil Young style, really exposes their vivid imagery and inner beauty. Laminated Cat is completely transformed from a bluesy jam into a wistful gem in which Tweedy sings of “love left over from lovers leaving” and books that are “not worth reading”. Tweedy also finds more intimate delights in Muzzle of Bees and In a Future Age. The unplugged format can get samey, but his delicate guitar playing is a joy and Via Chicago’s presumably metaphorical opening line, “I dreamed about killing you again last night”, never sounded more lovely.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author