The Palace At 4am - Part I (CD)


Jay Bennett , Edward Burch

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 12/14/2010

If you were among those lamenting where all the Summerteeth pop went on Wilco’s more experimental Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – it went with Jay Bennett, who packed all the lush strings and Wall of Sound effects in his suitcase when he and Jeff Tweedy so publicly split. But it showed up here on the late songwriter’s first post-Wilco record, a collaboration with Ed Burch. Bennett and his longtime friend crafted 15 pieces of luscious pop on The Palace, grounding soaring melodic invention with wistful, late-night lyrics, then layering each cut with the rich orchestration and instrumentation that characterized Bennett’s work on Summerteeth. Wilco’s leader, it will be remembered, gave Bennett his walking papers during the filming of I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, coldly reminding him that a “circle can only have one center.” Here, though Bennett and Burch share singing duties, Palace is clearly Bennett’s circle. He created his own Tweedy-free vision of an ELO-inspired, Elvis Costello-influenced, Brian Wilson-like pop darkness, highlight by cuts like “CTM” and “Drinking On Your Dime,” as well as two songs he penned with the Wilco leader, “Shakin’ Sugar” and “Venus Stopped the Train.” There’s also a couple Bennett-penned tunes left over from the Mermaid Ave./Woody Guthrie project, “No Church Tonight” and “Little White Cottage.” By himself, Bennett listed 18 instruments played on this record, among them an electric sitar, Wurlitzer and xylophone, while Burch chipped in with at least eight more. But rather than suffocate under the weight of all this instrumentation, the melodies and lyrics on Palace breathe well enough on their own. Bennett clearly landed on his feet, songwriting-wise, even if his career never recovered from his Wilco-sacking.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Puzzle Heart
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 05:31
2.
Talk To Me
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:13
3.
Whispers Or Screams
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 02:46
4.
Shakin' Sugar
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:01
5.
C.T.M.
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 05:07
6.
Drinking On Your Dime
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:12
7.
My Darlin'
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 03:56
8.
No Church Tonite
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 06:26
9.
Fireworks
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:08
10.
Forgiven
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 03:27
11.
Like A Photograph
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:25
12.
Venus Stopped The Train
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 05:01
13.
California
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 03:49
14.
Little White Cottage
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 04:11
15.
It Hurts
Jay Bennett , Edward Burch 08:05

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