Loose Fur Loose Fur

Although highly anticipated by Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke fans alike, the Loose Fur collaboration can only be described as underwhelming. With Jeff and Jim taking turns rolling the mic, the band is rounded out by current Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche laying down some smooth grooves. If anything, these grooves and songs are a bit too smooth, too light, too gentle and generally lacking any kind of impact. Anticipation was appropriately high for this release, seeing how successful previous collaborations between the pair had turned out, including the most recent O'Rourke engineered Wilco album and Tweedy's rocking efforts on O'Rourke's Insignificance album. Loose Fur comprises six tracks that are mostly akin to a Jim O'Rourke solo outing, although a bit flatter. O'Rourke's subtly sweet melodies provide the strong suit while instrumentation remains jam-like and meanderingly experimental as the songs simply drag out too long. The album does have its moments, including O'Rourke's pleasant "Elegant Transaction," the quirky instrumental "Liquidation Totale" and Tweedy's tightly edited pop number "You Were Wrong." If there were any grand designs here it might have been to create an artful easy listening album, which unfortunately falls short. (Drag City)