A Dream Retrieved From A Common Spring
Wilco’s Cruel Country is a gift to long-suffering Wilco fans who desperately wanted Jeff Tweedy to get back to making warm country rock records like AM and Being There again. I like but don’t love those records so of course I zero in on the outlier — “Mystery Binds,” a moody and more electric number more in line with the stark and aloof vibes of more recent Wilco records. The song moves like it’s trying to sneak out of a house, a soft chug that leads up to an elegant and vaguely familiar lead guitar hook played by Nels Cline. Tweedy’s lyrics seem to approach misery as a shared experience, like some kind of Jungian collective unconscious, but love as a more solitary thing. It seems true in as much as the person telling you this seems to pass on his sorrows freely, but clings jealously to love like he can’t risk sharing it and thus can’t receive new love. This music feels a bit cursed, but it’s rather lovely.
Buy it from Bandcamp.