Those Days

“These Days” was originally written by Jackson Browne supposedly when he was just 16, and first recorded by Nico on her solo album Chelsea Girl, released in October of 1967.  (Nico’s work with the Velvet Underground came out in March of ’67).  “These Days” was recorded by several other artists after Nico, including Browne himself during his run of 70s easy-listening albums.  In 2003, Paul Westerberg, formerly of the Replacements, recorded his own version of the song for his Come Feel Me Tremble album, which he put together in his basement.  The stuff Westerberg did solo in his basement, especially the album Mono from 2001, has a crappy-sounding irresistibility to it.  He plays all the instruments as far as I know; it can be muffled at times, and he may not be the best drummer and bass player, but its mainly about his guitar and his vocals, which remain remarkably strong.  Roughly split between ballads and uptempo rockers, the material on Stereo/Mono and Come Feel Me Tremble is affecting stuff, and probably some of the best music Westerberg recorded since his glory days in the 80s.  His “These Days” is ragged, shambling, and melancholy, in all the right ways. Come Feel Me Tremble also features the slamming “Making Me Go.”

 

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