Jeff TweedyChelsea Walls SoundtrackRykodisk

Kate Silver

It’s easy to tag Jeff Tweedy’s scoring of the Ethan Hawke “verité” Chelsea Walls as post-Mancini. Though unlike, say, “Moon River”, this Tweedy work holds little value outside the chassis of cinema; where the sluggish, meandering guitars on “Opening Titles” and “Red Elevator” are heard in tandem with visual elements. When released in conjunction with Wilco’s anxiously anticipated Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Chelsea Walls can capitalize on Tweedy’s current caché. Collectors will rejoice over the unreleased Wilco track “Promising”, a bare-bones ballad whispered over an acoustic guitar, as well as the Mermaid Avenue outtake “When the Roses Bloom Again.” It shuffles along like a bashful lover, his eyes to the ground. This Guthrie gem gleams with slide-guitar and full rhythm accompanionment.

As Hawke’s eye strives to provide a voice for the crumbling New York City landmark, Tweedy’s endearment lies in the subtle imperfections of his bricks-and-mortar tonalityñslight cracks disrupt his delivery, offering a sense of vulnerability. Other vocalists include soul artist Jimmy Scott, providing an elegant rendering of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” and actors Robert Sean Leonard and Steve Zahn as they struggle through the songwriter’s unplugged “The Lonely 1”. This could be an era of post-Tweedy.

-Kate Silver