never struck a finer balance between rock and country than on Anodyne
, their major-label debut and parting shot. For all of the ill will undoubtedly simmering throughout these sessions, Jay Farrar
and Jeff Tweedy
have never before been more attuned to each other musically; where earlier records often found the band's twin forces moving in opposing directions, Anodyne
bears the full fruits of their shared vision. Recorded live in the studio, the album encompasses and reinterprets not only country-rock (evidenced by the group's pairing with Doug Sahm
on his "Give Back the Key to My Heart") but also traditional country (the tribute to the songwriting legacy of "Acuff-Rose"), rock (the churning "The Long Cut," "Chickamauga"), and folk ("New Madrid," "Steal the Crumbs"), the band's reach never once exceeding its grasp.