By now, Chicago multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett has accomplished enough in his solo career to rid himself of the "ex-Wilco" moniker. The fourth such record since Bennett left the group, The Magnficent Defeat continues similar riff-heavy, rhythm-drenched pattern that began with 2002’s superb The Palace at 4 AM. This time Bennett whittled down a prospective list of six dozen songs into 13 and whipped out an ensemble of probable players (such as Palace cohort Edward Burch) and improbable instruments, including a horde of Hammond organs and a child’s tambourine. Bennett has a uniquely nasal vocal delivery which can too often evoke Elvis Costello, but his ear for pure pop grandeur is palpable on "Wide Open," which could be an outtake from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, and the guitar-driven "Replace You," complete with its meaty Hammond accompaniment. Leaving more than 50 songs left on the chopping block and his creative psyche ever agitating, it’s obvious that Jay Bennett has put that former band outtasite in the rearview.