16 July 2009

Review: Wilco (the album)

My friend Brock reviewed the latest Wilco album. He and I are of like minds...so I'm asking you to check out his review...as this is a response to his writing.

Here's the last thing he wrote about it. He's dead on.

Now there are a few really good songs on here. It starts off great. "Deeper Down" and "One Wing" are fantastic. "Bull Black Nova" reminds me of Spiders (Kidsmoke). That's great. "You and I" has a duet with Feist. Better on paper than in the song, but still sweet. That's when things take a turn for the bad.

There are two songs on this album I really don't like: "You Never Know" (the harmonies piss me off) and "Sonny Feeling" (it's called "Sonny Feeling"). Any momentum during the first half of this album comes crashing to a halt during "You Never Know." It takes several songs to recover. "Country Disappeared" is good enough. "Solitaire" is very nice. Then "I'll Fight" is fantastic. Then it's "Sonny Feeling." Again, terrible.

That's the story with this album, and really Wilco as a whole right now. If I compare this album with Wilco's highest points, it's very disappointing. As a stand alone album, it's pretty good. Above average. It just lacks the experimentation of previous albums. The writing has become very pedestrian. However, I still like this album okay. It's worth picking up. It is just very difficult to judge within the whole Wilco catalogue.

As for the entire review...I agree to a point.

The thing with me: I really like the new Album. I must be ready for this Wilco and the one that recorded on "Sky Blue Sky"..which I adore. Jeff shares his views in this great Chicago Public Radio interview on Eight Forty-Eight.

For the record...my top 3 favorite Wilco records are

1. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Still their seminal album. A brilliant masterpiece.
2. Being There - Same as above...until my mind was blown away by YHF.
3. Sky Blue Sky - So simple. So elegant. So optimistic. When I go for a drive listening to this album..it changes the way I look at the world.

Sky was so warm and inviting...like curling up with soup next to a fire. No experimentation, that's for sure..and I do miss that element.

At the same time..I like to revel in great musicians just enjoying their time playing in this great band.

That's the feel I got from Sky..and I'm getting from The Album.

That said..Sky was the only album I loved from the word go. This album reminds me of the others...with the slow burn and the numerous listens necessary to peel back the layers.

So far...Wilco the album hasn't turned out to be onion.
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