Friday, July 21, 2006

CD review: Golden Smog - Another fine day

I really liked the Jayhawks when they were around and everybody loves Wilco, so I was looking forward to the release of this album. I altered this review a couple of times as I was writing it because the songs kept getting better the more I listened to it. Remember it's a 'supergroup' album, so it's a little eclectic with different vocalists and line-ups, still it's very enjoyable.

I'll give it 7.5/10

ARTIST Golden Smog

ALBUIM Another Fine Day

LABEL (Lost Highway)

Supergroups. Side projects. Do they ever produce records as good as the bands the members come from? Golden Smog, the side project of Gary Louris, Marc Perlman (The now defunct Jayhawks), Kraig Johnson (Run Westy Run), Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) is successful enough to release their third album in eight years.

Another Fine Day was recorded in Southern Spain and later in Menneapolis where Tweedy joined in. Friendship has kept the supergroup together over three albums during which The Jayhawks broke up, Andy Johnson moved to Spain and Wilco achieved mainstream success. As such, the album feels like a lot of fun. It's loose, kicking bag with big guitars and big melodies. It's a relaxing diversion from the pressures of the day job.

The different members stamp their imprints on different songs. Tweedy brings a bit of electronics, Dan Murphy rocks out on "Hurricane" and Gary Louris' influence is everywhere. There are a few standouts like Louris and Tweedy on 'Listen Joe', the power pop opener 'You Make It Easy' and the title track. Elsewhere the tracks are like a pretty girl you meet at a party: fun, novel and interesting for a while, but you soon forget her name. The first half of the album shows immense promise, it's a shame that, baring some notable exceptions, the rest of the album doesn't live up to the initial high standard. Fans of any of the members should check this out and the good news is that the way Golden Smog are going, this record won't be their last.

Buy and listen to Another Fine Day at

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