Music review: Wilco (The Album)

Posted: July 6, 2009 in Album Reviews

WilcothealbumVeteran alt-rockers Wilco return with their seventh album, this time going the self-released route. The new album features everything the band does well, from upbeat classic-rock infused numbers like Sonny Feeling to the quiet balladry of You and I, the band is in peak form. Lead single You Never Know would sound right at home on an early 70s George Harrison album, and that’s a good thing. The band out and out rocks on the track I’ll Fight and there’s plenty on this album for fans to like. It strikes the proper mix between rockers and ballads, featuring serious topical stuff like Country Disappeared and downright light-hearted fare like Wilco (the song). It’s not quite as good as the 1-2 punch of career peaks Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but it’s a clear step in the right direction from 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, which was a little too muted and repetitive for my tastes.
Sod Rating: ****

Other Wilco albums I own:
Summerteeth (1999) *****
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) *****
A Ghost is Born (2004) ***
Sky Blue Sky (2007) ** 1/2

Ratings Guide
***** Hall of Fame Album
**** Perennial All-Star
*** Solid starter
** Bench warmer
* Rafael Belliard and Kevin Stocker

  1. I was WAAAY into Uncle Tupelo, but I haven’t found any of the post UT bands quite up to snuff. Good yes, but not desert island stuff to me.

    • Andrew Sodergren says:

      I’ll have to check Uncle Tupelo out. I’ve heard great things about them, just never bought any of their cds. Any recommendations for their best work?

      • gravediggerhebner says:

        As far as a whole album top-to-bottom my favorite is “No Depression,” but there are some individual songs on “Still Feel Gone” and “Anodyne” that I really like as well.

        The way I was first introduced to them was through a cover of CCR’s “Effigy” they did which blew me away. I’ve only ever seen it on a compilation CD from 1993 called “No Alternative.”

        I’m not generally a fan of country music, but the country elements that UT incorporate into their sound, which for lack of a better phrase I would call “country-rock,” my ear finds quite enjoyable. I’m a sucker for the sound of a pedal-steel guitar when it’s not completely surrounded by pure country elements and I like the way UT employs it.

        It’s all pretty personal and subjective (as I imagine you understand) so don’t beat me up if you don’t like it 🙂

  2. Andrew Sodergren says:

    I actually have that comp. you speak of. That was a pretty awesome compilation album and I too loved Effigy. Forgot it was by Uncle Tupelo though. Still, the best track on that album was the unlisted Nirvana song which for years people misidentified as ‘Verse Chorus Verse’ (another Nirvana song entirely, finally released on the excellent 2004 box set With the Lights Out). The song on No Alternative was called ‘Sappy’ and it was far from that. Awesome tune….

    • gravediggerhebner says:

      That’s awesome that you have that CD. In addition to the UT and Nirvana songs, I also really liked the American Music Club song and the Beastie Boys one. I was pretty impressed with the whole thing really.

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