Jeff Tweedy is a genius!
I mention that upfront so it's obvious this post will not be unbiased and objective!
This post features the second album from Tweedy's Wilco side project, Loose Fur, featuring Tweedy, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, and Wilco producer/collaborator and former Sonic Youth bassist Jim O'Rourke.
Loose Fur were formed when Tweedy was invited to perform with a collaborator of his choice for the Noise Pop Festival in 2000. Tweedy chose to collaborate with O'Rourke, who then brought in Kotche. The band recorded their self titled debut album soon after the Noise Pop Festival, although the album was not released until 2003.
Wilco then convened to record their fourth album, the colossal Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The sessions proved frustrating (as captured on the documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco), and left Tweedy yearning for the improvisational experience he had become accustomed to with Loose Fur. Kotche was subsequently brought into Wilco (and remains with the band to this day), while O'Rourke was brought into salvage the recording.
Although sonically distinct from the Loose Fur album, the completed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot definitely has Loose Fur footprints all over it. As did it's follow-up, the equally excellent O'Rourke collaboration A Ghost Is Born.
Born Again in the USA was conceived an recorded a few years after A Ghost Is Born. It is arguably closer to Wilco than their debut album, although the tracks where O'Rourke handles vocals, such as Answers to Your Questions and the awesomely titled Stupid as the Sun provide some diversity. But when you start to think it sounds a bit too close to Wilco, something happens to shake things up - take my personal fave Wreckroom - pleasant Wilco-esque country-pop until the halfway point, where a maelstrom of noise emerges to shake off your security blanket. Great stuff!
Loose Fur - 2006 - Born Again in the USA
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3