Wilco (the pretty good album)

The big news for Wilco fans this week is the leak and subsequent streaming of the band’s new album on wilcoworld.net.


The Wilco faithful expect a masterpiece with each album release (think “Summerteeth,”Yankee Hotel Foxtrot“). We don’t get one with “Wilco (The Album),” but it’s a decent offering. There’s a little bit of everything for longtime fans. The first two tracks, “Wilco the Song” and “Deeper Down,” wouldn’t sound out of place on the pop classic “Summerteeth.” Fans of the roots-rock “Being There” period probably will like “Sunny Feeling” and “You Never Know.”

Of course, “Wilco (The Album)” has much in common with the 2007 release, “Sky Blue Sky.” Jeff Tweedy brings back the entire band and co-producer Jim Scott. The songs “One Wing” and “Everlasting” sound like they’d fit on “Sky.” The band has been playing “One Wing” live in recent months, extending the song by a couple of minutes to jam. Check out onethirtybpm.com for a compilation of live versions of the new songs.

One of the most interesting songs on the new album is “Bull Black Nova,” which combines the experimental sound on “A Ghost is Born” with the instrumentation of “Sky.” Overall, the new album (set for official release June 30) has a very good batch of songs and I recommend multiple listenings before making up your mind on whether you like it. After a couple of casual listens, I was willing to dismiss it as Lite FM fare. I tend to like Wilco songs better after I’ve heard them a number of times. That’s good. It shows the complexity of the music — there’s no made-for-radio hit here. Tweedy has come a long way since “A.M.”


4 responses

  1. Bruce

    Not bad on first listen. Like you, I detect the Sky Blue Sky similarities but will need several listens before I’m going to pass judgement.

    One question: In the first song, is Tweedy actually singing ‘Wilco’? If so, that’s an egregious violation of one of my rock n’roll rules: Never mention your band’s name in your songs. It’s pompous and it’s bad luck (see- Roxette, Big Country, MC Hammer, etc). It’s also like some self-absorbed, egomaniacal pro athlete referring to himself in the third-person. Please Jeff, stop it.

    May 15, 2009 at 5:13 am

  2. alltheyoungpunks09

    Indeed. He sings: “Wilco will love you baby.” I think it’s about people turning to music when they get down. It’s still kind of a goofy song. And while I say it sounds like it could be on “Summerteeth,” it doesn’t have the lyrical heft to match up with those great songs.

    May 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm

  3. Pingback: Wilco is going to love you this week « All the Young Punks

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