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May 21, 2007 - Image 9

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-05-21

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Ar :

Monday, May 21,2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

artspage@michigandaily.com
734-763-0379

candidly natural.
The result is moments of real joy
mixed in with the requisite dark-
ness, bothlyrically andinstrumen-
tally. Tweedy has said in multiple
interviews that the sessions for
this album were the most comfort-
able and collaborative of his entire
career, and a lot of the credit for
that has to go to Nels Cline, the
laid back but virtuosic new lead
guitarist.
Much has been made of the
relative absence of Jim O'Rourke
(he is credited with feedback on
one track, percussion on another
and the string arrangements on
the first and last songs), but the
addition of Cline, considered one
of the world's top avant-garde
jazz guitarists, has done more to
open up Wilco's sound than the
absence of any one person ever
could.
Cline's tasteful fretting on
"Impossible Germany" demands
facial contortions, is one of the
best guitar solos ever laid to wax
and is the primary reason the
Wake of the Flood era Grateful
Dead meets Jailbreak era Thin
Lizzy jam is one of Wilco's fin-
est moments in recent memory.
At other times Cline's jazz back-
ground shines through (his solo
on "Either Way" has drawn com-
See CARGO, Page 12

Angry faces make for good music.

By LLOYD H. CARGO
Daily Arts Writer
Wilco's latest, Sky Blue Sky, isn't
a return to anything. AM was a
pleasant but forgettable extension
of Uncle Tupelo, Being There was
an alt-country gem in the vein of
Exile on Main Street, Summerteeth
was the group's dark pop album,
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was the noisy
masterpiece and A Ghost is Born

was a feverish account of Jeff
Tweedy's drug problems - each
was terrific in its own way. This
LP doesn't sound like any of them;
instead it's something fresh. Sky
Blue Sky is a bold step forward for
a reinvigorated band.
For Wilco diehards, Sky Blue
Sky might initially be under-
whelming. At first listen, the
songs sound a little too easy, a lit-
tle too optimistic - like a return

to the loose and rootsy Being meant it in a good way ... ugh), but
There era sound without the that's oversimplifying things.
bleak lyrics. The The dissonance is still there,
New York Times and underneath the mellow
wants to know grooves dispensed by the new
what happened WITcO lineup, Tweedy is still the same
to the noisy bits, old restless, disgruntled and love-
and Entertain- Sky Blue Sky lorn singer/songwriter/husband/
ment Weekly Nonesuch father/poet/rock star whose trip
calls it "the best to rehab and back has left him
Eagles album with a brighter outlook on life and
the Eagles never made" (and they an album full of songs that feel

'Far Far Away' from original
farce and fun

By IMRAN SYED line - were beloved by critics and
Editor in Chief fans alike. A reaction to the cookie-
cutter Disney fairytale we had all
Sequels nearly always have big grown tired of, they had nothing to
shoes to fill, but few face the uphill lose and mercilessly satirized one
battle of "Shrek the Third." earnest fairytale hero after another.
The first film in DreamWorks's But then something happened
wildly popular that changed everything. Suddenly
animated series "Shrek" was the fairytale. It was
about an ogre what kids read, watched, doodled
and his misfit Shrek the in schoolbooks and wanted on their
friends won an Third lunchboxes. The genial underdog
Academy Award no more, "Shrek" now had every-
for Best Animat- At the Showcase thing to lose. No longer could it let
ed Feature. The and Quality16 it all hang out; that just wouldn't
sequel went on to Paramount be wise for a gazillion-dollar brand
earn over $440 with at least half a dozen sequels
million domesti- still in the pipeline.
cally, good enough for third highest And watching "Shrek the Third,"
all time. the results are painfully clear.
Those two productions - sponta- Gone is the infectious fun and
neous, carefree, laying it all on the boisterous romp that was the first

film. Gone is the unfettered ambi-
tion and even the watered-down
creativityofthe second film.Allthat
is left is our beloved characters in a
shockingly dry, defensive and bitter
film. There's no fun here, even in a
story that is marginally better than
that of its immediate predecessor.
That story, of course, centers on
the big green ogre named Shrek
(Mike Myers, "Austin Powers in
Goldmember"). Now a bona fide
prince in the Kingdom of Far Far
Away and married to his true love
Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz,
"The Holiday"), Shrek inherits the
throne once Fiona's father passes
away. Knowing that his lifestyle just
won't gel with being king, he sets
out to find the only other person
who can be king - a high schooler
named Arthur.

'Accidentally in love' is no longer a good excuse.

Along for the ride, though hei-
nously underused, are the trusty
sidekicks Donkey (Eddie Murphy,
"Dreamgirls") and Puss in Boots
(Antonio Banderas, "The Legend of
Zorro").
The elements that made the razor
sharp satire of the previous films
are all here: a self-absorbed Prince
Charming, moronically idyllic
princesses (Snow White, Sleeping
Beauty, Cinderella) and all the pop-

culture jabs 92 minutes could pos-
sibly hold. But it's all so clich6 now;
there isn't an ounce of originality ox
hint of playfulness, just a mechani-
cal, mass-produced tedium of a film
that's as hard to like as the first film
was to dislike.
Even in the rare moments when
the satire bares its teeth, there's
only a scattershot effort to incorpo-
rate it into a meaningful narrative.
See SYED, Page 11

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