Wilco (the pretty good album)
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.”