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Wilco (The Album)

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Editorial Reviews

Wilco's seventh disc, Wilco (the album), took shape quickly in January '09 after the band traveled to Auckland, New Zealand to participate in an Oxfam International benefit project. The band began cutting tracks for the new album, producing it themselves with the help of engineer Jim Scott. The sextet completed the disc at its Chicago studio and performed some of the new material in April at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; where the Times-Picayune praised the band's 'thrilling,
nuanced set.' Wilco (the album) combines the intimacy of its previous studio disc, Sky Blue Sky (2007), with the experimentation of A Ghost
Is Born (2004) in a set that boasts strong melodies and gorgeous, often unabashedly pop arrangements. Wilco has clearly laid out the welcome mat to admirers of all aspects of its career; in fact, the disc opens with 'Wilco (the song)' originally unveiled in the group's performance on The Colbert Report last October in which Tweedy & Co. offer their fans 'a sonic shoulder
to cry on,' promising,'Wilco will love you, baby.' Talking to a Rolling Stone reporter, drummer Glenn Kotche calls it 'a great, upbeat song professing our love for our fans.' That said, Tweedy's lyrics remain frank and fascinating; Rolling Stone calls them
'sly, insightful and often heartbreaking.' As with Sky Blue Sky, most of the tracks are concise in shape; 'Bull Black Nova,' however, features a dramatically building arrangement and thrilling guitar crescendo, more duel than jam. It's followed by the gentler 'You and I,' a duet between Tweedy and Canadian singer- songwriter Feist, and 'You Never Know,' a gloriously anthemic track that is the album's first single. The disc culminates with 'Everlasting Everything' a piano-driven ballad with delicate sonic nuances that lyrically celebrates love's endurance.
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Digital Booklet: Wilco [the album]
Digital Booklet: Wilco [the album]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 30, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0029358GM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Since its debut album "A.M.", Wilco has gone through a lot of ups and downs commercially, even though the band has enjoyed ever-climbing critical success, perhaps none more so than with the long-delayed (because of label problems) 2002 "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" album, in my book stil the finest album of the band. Yet always throughout you got the sense that Jeff Tweedy, the band's singer-song writer, was trying to prove something. With the band's reputation clearly established, now comes the 7th studio album, 2 years after the slightly disappointing (if ambitious) "Sky Blue Sky" album.

"Wilco (the album)" (11 tracks; 43 min.) kicks off with perhaps the band's most irreverent/accessible and tongue-in-cheek song ever, "Wilco (the song)", with great lyrics like "Do you dabble in depression/Is someone twisting a knife in your back/Are you being attacked/Wilco will love you baby". This should find plenty of airplay on mainstream commercial radio if it was still any good, which of course it isn't. The best songs on the album are on the first half, such as beautiful pensive "One Wing", which is followed by the most adventurous track on here, "Bull Black Nova" which eventually gives way to a searing guitar solo from Nels Cline. It is followed by a gentle "You and I", featuring Feist on vocals. The first half of the album is capped by an exuberant "You Never Know". I rate the first half of the album 4.5 stars. The second half doesn't contain as many attention-grabbing songs, although there are still a couple of nuggets, such as the quiet "Solitaire", the feisty and instantly likeable love song "I'll Fight", and the beautiful closer "Everlasting Everything". I rate the second half of the album 3.5 stars.

At 43 min. this album clips by in no time.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scott B. Saul on July 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wilco is a tough band to deal with. They take chances. They cannot be pigeonholed. They do not cowtow towards fans, critics or anybody else. And, unfortunately, they can be a victim of their own success. This is a good cd, with some terrific songs. The musicianship is spellbinding and the song writing top rate.

I fell in love with this band on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot". That cd is meant to be listened to, from start to "Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". Their follow up, "A Ghost is Born", really in the same vein, was also a wonderfully adventerous work. The problem is that you cannot always create only masterpieces, it's an unrealistic expectation.

Wilco (the album) is good, classic Wilco. It's a more quiet work, with virtuostic yet very subdued playing. Yet, there is still real good stuff on it with not a lame track, and some great tunes like "Bull Black Nova" (classic avante garde/experimental Wilco), "You Never Know", "Everlasting, everything" and "Sonny Feeling".

"Sky Blue Sky" was thought to be a lesser work and now, in hindsight, "Impossible Germany", "Walken" and "What Light" rank way up there with their other great songs.

Jeff Tweedy is past 40 and guitar ace Nels Cline (who is awesome and brings a lot to the band) is past 50. You will have to expect maturity with their work.

With this being their seventh work and with every album having it's own distinct personality, what other band has had this type of consistency?
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on June 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wilco has always been a band more than willing to change things up to fit whatever wild musical direction they felt like pursuing. From the sunny pop harmonies of Summerteeth, to their oscillating experimentalist rock on A Ghost is Born, to the big middle finger to the music industry that was Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Jeff Tweedy and company have not been content to sit on their laurels. That's why it was a little disheartening to hear their 2007 work Sky Blue Sky, a record rightly criticized for its fairly tame material and, dare I say it, a boring Wilco record.

That isn't to say Wilco is at their best when they're experimenting or throwing all songwriting conventions to the wind; indeed, Summerteeth more than proved this band had the chops to make bright `70s pop their own, and opener "Wilco (The Song)" only supports them further. As Tweedy asks "are times getting tough / are the roads you travel rough" over a crunching backbeat and guitarist Nels Cline's distorted shrill, it's even more obvious than after Sky Blue Sky that Tweedy has left his millennial demons behind him. When the chorus of "Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you, baby" hits, it fires off the album in the best kind of pop direction, one bursting with vibrancy and the kind of energy the band seemed to lack on their last effort.

It's hard to pigeonhole Wilco in any other way other than their clear energy, as, much like the band's discography, things change quick here. "Deeper Down" is an intricately fingerpicked exercise in how to build atmosphere, while a song like "Sunny Feeling" builds itself around another sinuous riff by Cline (whose distinctive guitar work is truly the highlight of the musicians here) and a charged performance by Tweedy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Starhead on July 9, 2009
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Wow, what a great package. Nice, thick sleeve with lyrics inside. "Collector" high quality LP sleeve plus a printed paper sleeve both included as is the CD in a cardboard sleeve.
It's been a long time since I picked up a new release on vinyl and it was so great to sit and read the lyrics and liner notes and check out the artwork. If you are a collector or a vinyl junkie you will love this. As a reminder of how getting a new album on vinyl used to mean a lot more than it is ever possible for a download to mean this is spectacular. I'm digging it.
One note though... this is a single LP. Amazon shows it as a 2 LP plus CD set. I'm going to write to them next, maybe it will have been corrected by the time you read this.
As far as the music goes I'm sure there are already a million reviews for this in the CD section...
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I have no faith in Wilco anymore
Wilco is an experimental band. They're going to try a lot of different approaches to making music. There is great reward in following a band like that: they're going to do things that no other band is going to do. There is also risk, in that not every direction the band goes is going to be as... Read More
Jun 29, 2009 by timmytourettes |  See all 42 posts
It is ok-so far I like Sky Blue Sky better (which use to be a dissapointment, but grew on me.) For me, Wilco always has more promise in my mind than what they actually deliver, but it is a worthwhile effort.
Jun 17, 2009 by Russell Chamberlain |  See all 25 posts
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