I'm still not sure what everyone heard on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" that made them collectively wet their pants, but I know it wasn't this. The music on "Loose Fur" (performed by Wilco's Glenn Kotche and Jeff Tweedy, along with "YHF" collaborator Jim O'Rourke) is relaxed, intuitive and often odd. Neglecting both Tweedy's melodic leanings and the more abrasive experimentation of O'Rourke's most confusing work, as a true collaboration "Loose Fur" ultimately splits the difference. The six songs on this 40-minute album are moody and quiet, equally dependent upon Tweedy's meandering guitar work as they are on O'Rourke's spacious accompaniment (Kotche brings up the rear with low-key percussion). It's a jam session we're dealing with here and perhaps that's why "Loose Fur" is far more appealing than the dense, overwrought blandness of "YHF." Most of the cuts nestle themselves in a noodly, John Fahey-type realm, full of open-ended guitar lines and abstract atmospherics. And the looseness of these six songs demonstrates the joy that occurs when immensely talented musicians are free to just play.
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