Jeff Tweedy is a genius. Let’s just get that bit out of the way right off the bat — the man has written more perfect songs over a longer period of time than just about anyone in his generation aside from Greenwood/Yorke, and while everyone knows that he can be sort of a pain in the ass, and he’s already been shepherded into “Dad Rock” status, it doesn’t change the fact that the dude is a genius.
His latest, “I’ll Sing It”, is the first single off Tweedy, an album he’s producing with his talented and all around pretty cool son, Spencer. (Spencer directed the video for Wilco’s “Whole Love” when he was like 10.)
“I’ll Sing It” is by no means one that will go down in the Tweedy Hall of Fame. But it is a song that shows just how good Tweedy is at this whole music thing. “I’ll Sing It” is ruthless, gorgeous songwriting at its simplest and finest. A funky, meandering bass line, light backing vocals hitting you with “ooh ooh oohs”, and then the ringing of that electric guitar. “I’ll sing it to you,” he sings, almost placating. He doesn’t sound psyched about it.
“Forever getting closer / never getting closer / I’ll sing it to you” is the confession of a man who has spent his career trying to connect with people, not sure if he’s succeeding, and then just keeping on anyway. What else can he do?