The title of Corin Tucker's post-Sleater-Kinney solo album reminds me of the title of an old Magnetic Fields song, "100,000 Fireflies," and upon reflection, the vague similarity provides a useful metaphor: 1,000 Years, like a firefly, flickers.
At times, 1,000 Years is more polished and refined than any Sleater-Kinney effort (save The Woods, one of the best albums of the last 10 years); at other times, it sounds like someone recorded a live show at a coffee shop circa 1993. Some songs are comfortingly nostalgic—the mere sound of Tucker's voice and guitar on new songs is reassuring in this age of Auto-Tune and digital processors. But Tucker's voice rarely escalates into her signature warble, and at times, it even feels buried in the mix.
Some songs are brightly poetic, like "It's Always Summer" and "Dragon," while others are painfully lame, like "Thrift Store Coats," a dull attempt at a recession anthem. (Plant a garden? Really? Do you know how much water costs?)
It is certainly unfair to compare a solo album with an artist's work in a band, but it is difficult to not want a glimmer of the artist's contribution to their band. 1,000 Years has a few glimmers, but that's all: With a discography and a voice like Tucker's, the glimmer should seem like 1,000 fireflies, instead of perhaps 10.