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Jay Farrar 

Terrior Blues (Act/Resist)

There was a time when the only thing that would make a member of the notoriously docile alt-country set throw a punch was the debate over which Uncle Tupelo expat was more deserving of attention: Jeff Tweedy or Jay Farrar. They were, after all, the dysfunctional fathers of the whole "No Depression" movement. Polls concerning their first post-Tupelo projects seemed to conclusively find Farrar as the Simon to Tweedy's Garfunkel. As time goes on, that prediction couldn't be more wrong. While Tweedy continues on a seemingly endlessly creative rebellious streak, Farrar spins his wheels, diluting the sentiments that made his seminal work with Tupelo so emotionally rich.

Terrior Blues is Farrar's most watered-down offering yet. It doesn't so much begin where 2001's Sebastopol left off; it simply recycles the exact lyrical and melodic ideas that Farrar has been stuck on since Tupelo split. We've heard all these tunes before, and they were better the first time. Even Terrior's brightest moments, when Farrar momentarily wakes from his Valium-induced drudgery, are shamefully unoriginal. From loner idealism to bleak Midwestern landscapes and bland blue-collar clichés, Farrar's song remains the same.

More by Nate Cavalieri

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