Although Jay Bennett departed Wilco before the band swapped roots rock for experimental indulgence, his solo career found its own progressive posture. His 2002 collaboration with Edward Burch, The Palace at 4am (Part 1), saw him flirting with texture and ambiance, lending his music a more cerebral sensibility. The Magnificent Defeat is less easily defined: The chaotic clutter and muddled ramble of opening track "Slow Beautifully Seconds Faster," the frenzied spiraling groove of "Phone Book," and the unhinged, swamplike croak of "Butterfly" suggest Bennett's intent on catching his listeners off-guard.
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