A PERSON GETS TO A CERTAIN STAGE IN LIFE — I’m there myself — no longer in the throes of child-raising (that magnificent distraction), when he starts to think of death not as some abstraction that happens to other people but as a big, indifferent train that, even at this moment, is rolling out of a station located at an unknown, but not infinite, distance away. “Isn’t it time, now, to finally be happy?” the universe starts asking, along with a second, complicating question: “But how can I be happy in a world like this?” Put another way: we seem born to love, and yet everything here is conditional (i.e., comes to an end). How should we live when the huge piano labeled “Death” is eventually going to fall, not only on us, but on everyone we love?
This album is, it seems to me, an answer. Or, more than an answer, it’s a nod to the validity of the question.
Should I be wary of life or enjoy it? the listener asks.
Yes, Jeff Tweedy says.