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Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Enhanced

4.2 out of 5 stars 638 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2002 album from the Americana/Alt-Rock band led by singer songwriter Jeff Tweedy.

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Named in honor of the three-word codes used by short-wave radio operators, Wilco's fourth album sounds like a late-night broadcast of some weirdly wonderful pop station punctuated by static and the sonic bleed of competing signals. Songs that begin with simple, elegiac grace--"Ashes of American Flags" and "Poor Places"--end in a cathartic squall of distortion. The results can be initially jarring, but it's these tracks more than the sturdy jangle pop of "Kamera" or "Heavy Metal Drummer" that demand, and reward, repeated listens. Mixed by studio experimentalist Jim O'Rourke and produced by the band, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot harkens back to a time when the words "pop" and "sonic adventurism" weren't mutually exclusive. The Beatles and Kurt Cobain knew this, and clearly so do Jeff Tweedy and company. --Keith Moerer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00005YXZH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (638 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,310 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In talking to fellow Wilco fans, I've noticed something that I don't often see in fans of other bands - an excitement about change. And let's face it - Wilco's sound has definitely benefitted from a lack of permanent grounding, and YHF takes the biggest steps from the often-repeated stories of Uncle Tupelo this and alt-country that and all the other hogwash.
So we can talk about labels and history and the like, but I'll leave that to the music critics. The history only matters if you're already a Wilco fan, and if you're like most Wilco fans, the change from the past isn't even that big a deal. The question is, what merit does this record have on its own?
YHF is an album for our times - the human spirit confronted with the modern world is one way you can look at both the songwriting themes and the sounds employed in this album. Put headphones on to hear the organic, typical instruments doing battle with the swirling noise and layered arrangements; this added "noise" is not an afterthought, but a carefully mastered part of the album's whole sound. The feeling you get listening to the way sound is arranged should be a clear indication that there is something deeper going on here, whether or not you're a fan of the noisiness that Jim O'Rourke brings to the table (and even though I usually don't care for this style, I am instinctively drawn to, and pleased by, its execution in YHF).
On top of this is Jeff Tweedy's touching songwriting. This is an album to read along to (or sing if you're luckier than I am), so keep the liner notes handy. Tweedy sings songs about the same love, unpredictable and wonderful and painful, in a strange world that is either always changing or always the same.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
YHF has been one of my favorite albums since the day it came out on CD. My review is not on YHF itself, but on this incredibly disappointing vinyl pressing. When I purchase a beloved album on vinyl, I don't expect to get a crappy re-press of the CD rips. YHF has many tracks that are supposed to have seamless transitions. This vinyl has 2-second gaps between every track (even the ones that are supposed to blend together), something that is completely unnecessary and a dead giveaway that the CD masters were aimlessly pressed onto vinyl without any thought whatsoever. Music pressed to vinyl should be mastered for vinyl. This LP, however, is the unfortunate byproduct of a new way for labels to make money: they simply take the CD masters and re-release on vinyl without any further work. This isn't the way it's supposed to happen.
If you love YHF as much as I do, you'll be quite disappointed with the vinyl version. Just keep your CD/digital version instead. You'll enjoy those versions better.
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By A Customer on April 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Four records in and we find wilco further yet from their freshman effort, A.M. First off, at this point in their career to call Wilco alt-country is akin to calling Donna Summers heavy metal. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot takes the listener on an existentialist trip, with the band creating a loose sonic meditiation on distance and love, using random radio signals as a metaphor. This isn't to say that it isn't fun as well - afterall, anyone who's ever seen Wilco live knows that they are spry and playful onstage - and they can rock out with the best of them. With songs like Kamera, War on War, Heavy Metal Drummer (a beautiful ode to youth, innocence and Ray Davies), I'm the man Who Loves You, and Pot Kettle Black, Tweedy and Co. provide enough radio-friendly pop to make you scratch your head at the Reprise execs who said this record was a "career-ender". The world would be a better place if War On War and I'm the Man Who Loves You were booming out of car stereos this summer. That said, this album is chock full of darkness and weirdness as well. Kicking off with "I am Trying to Break your Heart" lyricist Jeff Tweedy takes a haiku-like approach to describing drunken lovesickness. Yeah. And Radio Cure reminds me of noneother than Radiohead, its glum, moody, intriguing and ultimately cathartic. Jesus, Etc. has a great rolling feel accented by a slippery fiddle line and strings that hum out of nowhere and nearly assure that this will lodge in your ears and remain there for a very long time. Ashes of American Flags might make you shiver, its a cold poem on the state of affairs out here in the west. Reservations ends the album eloquenly, gorgeously, and ultimately grounds an album that is dissecting untruths, misundersatandings and miscommunication with one important truth.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Once every couple of years, an album comes along that almost-automatically merits consideration as a "Classic" in its genre... I offer you Radiohead's "OK Computer", Lauryn Hill's "Miseducation of...", and (on the ever-growing World stage) Natacha Atlas' Transglobal Underground-fueled "Ayeshteni" as evidence for this trend. 2002's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", by Wilco, is the latest album to merit inclusion in the "instant landmark" category. Jeff Tweedy's band has made a record so jaw-droppingly complete, eclectic and satisfying that it would make both Harry Smith and Brian Eno proud. Though often described as a "Hillbilly OK Computer", YHF goes farther, muuuuch farther beyond mere pigeonhole-ization. This is a record of a uniquely sobered sensibility... the studious innocence of Uncle Tupelo's early recordings and "Being There's" sense of wide-eyed optimism are both gone. In their stead, we find a narrator than can, alternately, drink you under the table ("I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"), celebrate Rock 'N Roll without sounding trite ("Heavy Metal Drummer"), and be patriotic without being obtuse or jingoistic ("Ashes of American Flags"). One has to feel somewhat sorry for Jay Farrar... on the same year he releases a sensational solo effort ("Sebastopol"), and in which Uncle Tupelo's greatest-hits compilation comes out, Tweedy outdoes him, again, though this time more severely than ever before.
As for several pundits' charge that this record tries hard to be pretentious and "artsy", I will, actually, heartily agree with whoever states that claim...
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