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Another Fine Day

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 18, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Golden Smog started in 1992 as a one-off project with the EP, On Golden Smog, followed by Down By the Old Mainstream in 1995 and 1998's Weird Tales. They have now returned after an eight year hiatus with the more-than-impressive album, Another Fine Day. Recorded mostly in Spain by Paco Loco, this album falls a little less alt-country and more on the power-pop side than previous releases. Melding the personality, musicianship and lyricism of these revered songwriters, Another Fine Day is an album of personal reflection and timeless optimism. It will find its way into your head, heart, and ultimately it will save the world.

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Jeff Tweedy might carry the name recognition, but the rest of his band-on-the-side carries the mail on the fourth release from this Midwest all-star group. Though the Wilco leader teams with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris on a pair of nimble pop songs--the elegantly strummed "Listen Joe" and Kinks cover "Strangers"--it's Louris who's clearly at the head of the class with self-assured vocals ("Another Fine Day," "Think About Yourself"), lush harmonies ("Long Time Ago") and those unmistakable guitar leads ("Frying Pan Eyes"). Soul Asylum guitarist Dan Murphy's obligatory rocker "Hurricane" is a high point, as is the album's lead track "You Make It Easy," which has Kraig Johnson warbling over a thumping piano lead and chunky fuzz guitar. But most welcome among the 15 songs are two contributions from Louris's fellow Jayhawk Marc Perlman: the refreshing "Corvette" and "Cure for This," a '60s-speckled pop song sung by Muni Loco, the wife of producer Paco Loco and the first female to grace a recording by Golden Smog. --Scott Holter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 18, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B000FKO3AI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,296 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Damn. Now this is more like it. Up until now, supergroups were tarred with tarnished and gag inducing brush that Asia foisted upon the term back in the early 80's. And in their defense, Golden Smog had been content to release good music that somehow drifted underneath the radar of too many listeners. But the opening chords of "You Make It Easy" from Another Fine Day wipes that forever away. And the ultimately too-frickin'-catchy for it's own sake "5-22-02" hooks you in for the duration. Rest assured, there isn't a bad song on this disc. But for the sake of discussion, try out "Beautiful Mind," "Listen Joe," and "Hurricane." And if for some reason that defies any semblance of logic, that doesn't sell you on this album, try out "Cure For This." This is a song that deserves loving treatment by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoff on their Under the Covers" album. What could have been an exercise of self-indulgence arrives as one of 2006's finest albums.
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First thing I absolutely ADORE about this CD is that it sounds like a mix-tape. The songs are almost all collaborations, but bear the markings of the person who brought the demo to the sessions or such thing. Gary Louris is in fine voice as ever, and to his credit, really doesn't bring songs that evoke a Jayhawks-styled sound. Craig Johnson really has the hooks and arrangements going, with a POP-tastic track "5-22-02" really standing out (with its Suburbs-like horn vamping). Just try getting that one out of your head...
Tweedy actually plays a more minor role in this set, but the songs here are all so strong it suggests they really had a lot of material to choose from. If you listen to this without distraction, you'll catch a lot of the nuances and be hooked right away. If you listen once and think little of it, just spin it again the next day or so and after a few listens you'll find it very delightful. Timing-wise it was perfect: Released in the early days of summer, as it has a bright, cheerful, summery feel to it. Watch for an EP of some of the other "out takes" in coming months, and if you have a chance, catch their tour in September '06--I saw the Minneapolis show and was blown away at their set...
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Format: Audio CD
Went out to buy this record today, the day of release, due to the amazing predecessor, "Weird Tales". I'm a big Jayhawks fan, as well as a big Wilco fan, but this album caught me a bit by surprise. It's very rocking in production and songcraft, with only a few acoustic tunes. The majority of the record is wall-of-sound rock & roll...like Oasis covering Whiskeytown... which results in one the most thrilling listens I've had when first popping in a new CD and letting it play. I recommend this album to anyone who loves great rock & roll or Americana with some soul and energy...
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Format: Audio CD
First off... don't listen to self professed Smog anti-fans like Wheeler. This is a great disc. It follows true to the evolution of this band. I hate it when people judge music through anticipation. There is nothing weak here whatsoever. To try and label this is also a crime. Powerpop? No. Sincere, yes. No Smog disc has sounded like the last... it is no different here. Louris and Tweedy are shining stars in the industry. They just reside in a galaxy that most do not choose to look into. For shame!
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Format: Audio CD
Okay, these user reviews are plagued by a high degree of subjectivity, though what is objective about music? Plainly speaking, after listening to AFD for four weeks now, I believe this disc is quite exceptional both in its variety, the quality of songwriting, and overall production. This was my first exposure to Golden Smog, but since I have explored (that is, purchased) "Weird Tales." I just don't have the same feeling toward that disc as I do for AFD. For the record, I am not overly enamored with Wilco's recorded output, and had no previous exposure to the Jayhawks. Another Fine Day, then, needs no antecedents to make a salient musical impression. I am not given to hyperbole, but can best sum up my feeling about AFD this way: I have already downloaded it in its entirety from ITMS, but am now ordering two physical discs from Amazon--one for my 24-year old son, and one just for posterity.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Golden Smog, the Jayhawks, Wilco, , but this is NOT those people or normal Smog.(I don't think there is such a thing as "normal" in any kind of music) Just as Monsters of Folk is not M. Ward by himself, My Morning Jacket, or Brighteyes. or........Middle Brother is not Dawes, Delta Spirit, or Deer Tick. What happens when talent such as these people get together and something different comes out than their usual fare. CHANGES ALL THE TIME! That being said, "Another Fine Day" should still sound like Golden Smog, right? Hold on, the reviewer that said this band was like a bunch of guys sittin around drinking beer and thinking up good stuff. Well the day(s) they sat around thinking this album up they were in a ROCKING good mood. And it shows!!! More up front, in your face, ROCK N ROLL!!!!!!!!!! If viewed from that point of view it's one of their best. (I think)(you don't have to agree with me) This album is one I haven't stopped listening to since it came out in '06.
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Format: Audio CD
Since I've discovered iTunes I've been better able to put my music appreciation into perspective. Many work hours have been spent rating individual songs, where a rating of four or five is used for my all time favourite songs (they number in excess of five hundred). Three stars is reserved for songs that I'm always happy to hear, but that aren't what I would consider to be "stand out" tracks. And that's about where I'd put the vast majority of the songs from the latest Golden Smog album.

It's such a shame when a third of the tracks from the album's predecessor "Weird Tales" obtained the coveted four and five star status.

Perhaps it's because most of the songs have been co-written by Gary Louris, but this album's three-starness reminds me of a Jayhawks album where all the songs contain great hooks, but only one or two deliver their promised potential. If only Gary had come up with another "Until You Came Along" or the endlessly appealing "Jennifer Save Me".

It's now that I have to admit to being absolutely mad about Jeff Tweedy, and it might be that I'm not so keen on "Another Fine Day" because Jeff has only contributed to the writing of two of the songs. From my experience with the two previous Golden Smog albums, I've initially been attracted by the sweet hooks of Louris and lamented what seems to be a lack of effort from Tweedy, only to find Tweedy's strangely infectious and heartfelt vocals winding their way towards a four star rating or beyond.

With the above perspective, I have to say that there's something really special about the classic Tweedyesque "Long Time Ago". It sits nicely in the Golden Smog catalogue alongside "Please Tell My Brother" in that it's another simple acoustic song about love for one's family.
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1 Comment 11 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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