Golden Smog is probably the closest thing alt-country has to a supergroup. Originally formed as a side project in 1992, the band which now includes Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, Run Westy Run's Kraig Johnson and Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy has a songwriting track record as impressive (and often as inconsistent) as that of Ryan Adams. But the new Another Fine Day
is Golden Smog's first truly transcendent album since its debut full-length, 1996's Down by the Old Mainstream.
is all over the map stylistically, each song flows seamlessly. Driven by a waltzing piano, "You Make It Easy" is a perfect pop gem, while the acoustic ballad "Long Time Ago" shows that despite Wilco's avant tendencies, Tweedy still knows how to write a simple folk song. However, Day
's highlight is Tweedy and Louris' duet of Dave Davies' "Strangers," which lends new emotional impact to the Kinks co-founder's classic track.