always provided the darkest, grittiest moments in Uncle Tupelo
, so it comes as no surprise that Son Volt
is a rawer record than A.M.
, the first album by Wilco
, a band led by his former partner Jeff Tweedy
. Throughout Son Volt
's debut, Trace
, the group reworks classic honky tonk and rock & roll, adding a desperate, determined edge to their performances. Even when they rock out, there is a palpable sense of melancholy to Farrar
's voice, which lends a poignancy to the music. Trace
isn't a great step forward from Tupelo
's last album, the lovely Anodyne
, but it is a fine continuation of the ideas Farrar
has pursued over the course of his career.