Still Feel Gone [Bonus Tracks]

by: Uncle Tupelo

Uncle Tupelo clearly defined their nervy Gram Parsons-meets-the Minutemen sound on their debut album, 1990's No Depression, and their 1991 follow up, Still Feel Gone, found them branching out into new variations of their previously established themes. While No Depression was dominated by breakneck tempos with the occasional slow, contemplative number thrown in for variety, Still Feel Gone found Uncle Tupelo taking a closer look at the middle ground, as evidenced by the high-strung acoustic guitars of "Still Be Around," the measured but powerful Crazy Horse stomp of "Looking for a Way Out," the lonesome shuffle of "True to Life," and the stark atmospherics of "If That's Alright" (the latter of which in retrospect sounds like the first dawning of the ideas Jeff Tweedy would explore with Wilco). But plenty of what made No Depression so impressive is still on view here, including the brutal stutter-step of "Gun," the simple but powerful declaration of "Watch Me Fall," and the heartfelt tribute to an obvious influence, "D. Boon." And if anything, the band sounds even more powerful this time out, and the broader picture of their abilities only confirms how strong a combination Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn really were. Columbia/ Legacy's 2003 reissue has been newly remastered, which gives the audio noticeably greater detail and punch, and five bonus tracks have been included -- two hard-to-find single sides ("Sauget Wind" and a cover of the Soft Boys' "I Wanna Destroy You"), and early demos of three cuts from the album which differ significantly from the final versions ("Watch Me Fall," "Looking for a Way Out," and "If That's Alright"). If Still Feel Gone isn't as immediately impressive as No Depression, a few plays confirms it's still the work of a gifted band at full strength, and this reissue gives the album the special treatment it deserves. ~ Mark Deming

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