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Wilco, The - Wilco (The Album) Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 9
Production 8
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 83%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9.25
Production 7.5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Average: 84%

Wilco, The - Wilco (The Album)

Reviewed by: gspinn (09/25/09)
Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Record Label: Nonesuch
Release Date: June 30, 2009


The Chicago based Wilco has a long and fascinating history, with parts being captured on film and in books throughout the years, though with their most recent release, Wilco (The Album), Jeff Tweedy & Co. have somehow managed to create a sonic history of the band in 43 short minutes, touching on country-laced rock, moody songwriting, shameless pop, soundscapes and rootsy jams.

The record doesn’t waste time, starting off with the blistering sing-a-long, “Wilco (The Song).” Having been circulating around the internet for some time since the 2008 Presidential election, this song hasn’t changed much, assuring their fans that they love them. Cute, real cute.

Past track one, a majority of the record has a very somber tone. With the state of the country collapsing, Jeff Tweedy relays a dark mood through songs like “Deeper Down,” “One Wing” and “Country Disappeared.” On the standout “One Wing”, Jeff sings, “We may as well be made of stone / We can’t be flown / One wing will never fly / Neither yours nor mine, I fear.”

Tweedy might think we're sinking fast but in the lead single and pop extravaganza “You Never Know,” he gives advice and puts hope in the hands of the youth of the world. This track, recorded primarily in Australia for The 7 Worlds Collide collaboration, is a near-perfect pop gem. The flying synths, propulsive drumming, and lush harmonies will make you consider this song as one of the year’s best. On the surface the lyrics are simple, but reading into them more, they clearly speak of woes for the future, keeping this overarching somber theme: “It’s a fear to transcend/When were here at the end/I don’t care anymore.”

Tweedy also sings of death time after time throughout the record. First in “Bull Black Nova,” an atmospheric murder ballad that would fit perfectly on their 2004 release, A Ghost Is Born. Tweedy imagines a brutal and regretful murder, with his only wish being to erase it all. Another track, “I’ll Fight,” one of the record’s best, places a lover willing to do anything (fight, die, or kill) for their significant other. Tweedy so gracefully captures the human behavior down to the last note.

Lyrically, Wilco takes the cake on this one. While this record can stand for itself, it lacks a singular focus and and sonic vibe like past records. Something I loved about Sky Blue Sky and A Ghost is Born were the jams and on this record there were almost no spotlighted moments for the other members of the band. As I listen back again, I can only assume that the band wanted a record that had few frills and wanted only to show off the band as a whole and what they've done in the past. Hopefully for Wilco’s next effort, they try something new and start a new chapter in their story.

Recommended If You Like All the other Wilco records, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, Dr. Dog, great songwriting
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
03:41 PM on 10/09/09
#2
jesse_hitz
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good review although it took long enough, this album's been out for awhile but good job :)
06:11 PM on 10/09/09
#3
FUCKDIRTYWIPES
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great cd.
07:27 PM on 10/09/09
#4
kozy21
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Relatively speaking, this was not a very memorable album at all. On the whole, this year hasn't been that great for music in general.
10:58 PM on 10/09/09
#5
gspinn
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i disagree. this year has been a frickin great year for music
10:25 PM on 10/10/09
#6
HometownHero
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Relatively speaking, this was not a very memorable album at all. On the whole, this year hasn't been that great for music in general.
False on the latter
03:40 PM on 10/11/09
#7
kozy21
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There are only a few albums I can think of that have stood out to me. Phoenix, Passion Pit, The Decemberists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, Thrice, and Paper Route. That's about it. Pearl Jam was decent, Mutemath, was underwhelming and there hasn't been a lot of new bands this year.
06:03 PM on 10/11/09
#8
Ragnarok71
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There are only a few albums I can think of that have stood out to me. Phoenix, Passion Pit, The Decemberists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, Thrice, and Paper Route. That's about it. Pearl Jam was decent, Mutemath, was underwhelming and there hasn't been a lot of new bands this year.
hmm I disagree with that. How about Set Your Goals, The Dear Hunter, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, AFI, Paramore, plus a whole heap of bands getting back together, I dunno, I had a ball with music this year, thought it was possibly one of the better years of the past decade.
09:03 AM on 10/12/09
#9
gspinn
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dr. manhattan, elvis costellos new record blew me away, the avett brothers, mancho, animal collective, beatles remasters, andrew bird, david bazan, fun...

im sure theres more...
03:21 PM on 11/26/09
kozy21
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hmm I disagree with that. How about Set Your Goals, The Dear Hunter, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, AFI, Paramore, plus a whole heap of bands getting back together, I dunno, I had a ball with music this year, thought it was possibly one of the better years of the past decade.
I guess AFI is cool if you're a 14 year old girl. I'm assuming Set Your Goals is the name of a band and not the title of an album by a band named CIV 15 years ago. Manchester Orchestra don't do it for me. The Dear Hunter is not as good as TREOS. Paramore is another band that's for teenagers. Brand New is one I haven't heard yet although I do enjoy how they seem to reinvent themselves with each album. As you may notice though, you and I have completely different tastes in music, are probably at least 9 years younger than me, and haven't heard anything I commented on.
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