Golden Smog

Another Fine Day – 2006 (Lost Highway)

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

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This "super group" of Gary Louris, Jeff Tweedy and company are back with their first album of new material since 1998. And like fine wine, the outfit ages quite well with the mid-tempo Byrds-ian roots of "You Make It Easy" and the rather spacey, but effective rock of the title track.

A few songs are a tad too poppy, especially the pretty Petty-like "5-22-02" and the radio-friendly, hi-octane of "Corvette" that brings to mind Matthew Sweet or Velvet Crush. Unlike previous albums though, such as "Down By The Old Mainstream," there are some uneven moments like the heady instrumental intro to "Beautiful Mind" that comes off like an Oasis b-side, the aimless "Never Felt Before" and the Beatles-esque ballad "Listen Joe."

As a result, sometimes the group is a bit too cute for their own good as they are on the flowery "Cure For This" that eventually grows on the listener. But "Hurricane" is a rough and tumble mess that is too forced. Fortunately they get back to basics with the fine "Strangers" and "Gone" that are very organic as well as the sugar-coated roots rock of "Frying Pan Eyes." While not as strong as earlier albums, it's far from bad.