Pale Wire (Popscene)

Monday, September 06, 2004

First Glimmer

Thanks to the visionary genius behind Slumberlord, I now have a feasible way to share mp3s here on Pale Wire. If this experiment works out y'all can count on frequent opportunties to download free music in the future.

Tomorrow Paul Westerberg's latest solo album, Folker, will hit the shelves. If you count the soundtrack from his recent tour film, this will be the sixth solo LP Westerberg has widely released since his former band, The Replacements, broke up in most public fashion at Taste of Chicago '91.

"Looking Up In Heaven" is a ramshackle four-track ditty that has the down-and-out, ragged shoelace feel that's always said Paul Westerberg to me. Like most of Folker, it's a pale shadow of Paul's best work, but it's a welcome fix for a longtime fan.

It's not that the album's uneven (everything Paul's ever done has been uneven) it's that it doesn't hit those high highs that first hooked me on the guy. He sounds tired. (And if you see Come Feel Me Tremble you'll see he looks tired too.)

Especially when he tries to rock.

On his last studio album, Stereo, Paul showed he can still write a great ballad, but I'm skeptical if he'll ever rock again. And it pains me to say that.

Related Links:
Paul's page at Vagrant Records
Early 'Mats video clips
Some cool fanpage downloads (including a bootleg recorded earlier this year)
PopMatters Review of Folker

Let me know if there are any problems with the download. The link should last for a week.