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Technique

Tweedy's signature style of songwriting blends poetry with catchy hooks, melancholy with dry wit and a sense of humor. This is a trait that makes him one of the most respected songwriters in music, and while its origins can be found in the Tweedy-penned songs of Uncle Tupelo, it was in Wilco that these gifts really began to shine. "Passenger Side" is the perfect example of this amalgam, rendering an amusing scene and creating a well-defined character that the listener can relate to while also alluding to broader and more serious issues of dependency, alcoholism, and youthful uncertainty about the future. The structure of the song is somewhat standard for country and pop music, following a verse/chorus, verse/chorus, bridge/verse/chorus structure; but rather than a separate section entirely, the chorus is simply a repetition of the song's title with slight variation, more reminiscent of songs like Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" or "Your Cheatin' Heart" than Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," or his story-within-a-song, "A Boy Named Sue."

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