The Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense | Broadmoor
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 12, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
An amiable soft-rock duo comprising two members of Wilco, bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, the Autumn Defense provide a refuge for alt-country traditionalists vexed by Wilco’s increasing artiness. On their third full-length, the Chicago-based Stirratt and Sansone never allow their fondness for studio-geek texture to obscure a balmy melodic sense derived from old Carpenters and Steely Dan records; where Jeff Tweedy embroiders tidy Dust Bowl jangle with shards of big-city guitar noise, these two are happy to let mellowness linger. That doesn’t mean they aren’t canny arrangers: opener “Canyon Arrow” rides a tasty yacht-rock groove complete with airy flute trills, and the wistful vocal harmonies in “Winterlight” channel the pensive folk-rock vibe of classic Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. But as the product of two guys who probably don’t get a lot of songwriting ideas past Boss Tweedy, this disc is a showcase for some undervalued compositional chops.

The Autumn Defense + The Singleman Affair + Jennifer Jackson | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 20 | 617.864.EAST
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS | FURTHER  |  July 07, 2010
    Astralwerks (2010)
  •   DEVO | SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY  |  July 01, 2010
    Given the theory of de-evolution these Ohio brainiacs began expounding more than 30 years ago, it makes a sad kind of sense that Devo's first album since 1990's Smooth Noodle Maps offers such a charmless, base-level version of the band's synth-addled new wave.
  •   TAIO CRUZ | ROKSTARR  |  June 24, 2010
    When Taio Cruz sings, "I can't live without you," in "Take Me Back," pop-song conventions tell us he's referring to a lover.
  •   THE FUTUREHEADS | THE CHAOS  |  June 16, 2010
    "I wish that I could stop the noise," sings Barry Hyde not long into The Chaos . It sure doesn't seem that way.
    Bettye LaVette’s previous two albums had titles that required a little digging to unpack.

 See all articles by: MIKAEL WOOD