Published Dec 12, 2014
Here's what you need to know about Sukierae: it's the solo album that fans have been begging Jeff Tweedy, Wilco frontman and one of America's best songwriters, to make for ages. It features Tweedy's 18-year-old, fresh-out-of-high-school son Spencer on the drums, and is dedicated to and named after his wife, Sue, who was not long ago diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It's also a double record — its 20 songs clock in around 70 minutes — in an era when shuffle is god and radio stations splice three-minute singles into one-minute choruses to satisfy sporadic attention spans.
But to believe Sukierae, because of its drummer or dedication or duration, is in any way a gimmick would be a mistake. Created almost exclusively by Tweedy and son (save a few guest contributors, including the gracious backing vocals of Brooklyn's Lucius on "Low Key"), the album displays incredible diversity, jumping from raunchy alt-rock to heartbreaking acoustic ballads, dazed experimental to catchy power pop — kind of like a tour through Wilco's two-decade discography. The younger Tweedy's textured and tasteful percussion is mature beyond his years, and provides an apt backdrop for the awe-inspiring songwriting of his dad who, here, is as good as he's ever been. (Luc Rinaldi)