Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3

Inevitably linked to the semi-legendary Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn has spent the better part of two decades running away from the legacy of his first band. Always a great tunesmith, but one with a nagging, clichéd sentimentality, Wynn's early solo releases were filled with then-trendy guest appearances and overwhelming production flourishes that never jelled with his cosmic cowboy aesthetic. That all changed with 2001's Here Come the Miracles, a bracing, lengthy set that offered no apologies concerning Wynn's trio of classic influences: Dylan, Young and Reed. ...tick...tick...tick continues this needed embrace of feedback, distortion and deceptively simple themes about the darker side of love. On tracks such as "Cindy, It Was Always You" and "Wild Mercury," Wynn's strong sense of narrative meshes well with the subtle-as-a-hammer backing of the Miracle 3. It's that kind of healthy dichotomy, the push and pull between decent and depraved, which always made Wynn's work, with or without the Dream Syndicate, so essential. Unlike many artists whose greatest work was done twenty years ago, Wynn gets kudos for harkening back to his roots while maintaining an emotional depth and appreciation of volume that speaks well for his continued relevance in the future.

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