Wilco is a simple band. Their tone and melodic style is something that wouldn’t be difficult to recreate or imitate. Their ability to create solid tracks release after release really herald them as one of the best and most consistent bands of the past few decades. While their fame comes from their depressing-yet-inspiring Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002, we can see how Wilco’s longevity throughout their expansive catalog has given them their well deserved reputation as a great band.
The band’s latest release, Wilco (The Album), dawns a comical title as well as the lead track and single “Wilco (The Song)”, in which lead singer and songwriter Jeff Tweedy proclaims “Wilco will love you, baby”. Reassuring, right? Not so fast. Just as the warmth of that track ends, the cold starts with the next two tracks, “Deeper Down” and “One Wing”. On “Wing”, Tweedy confesses the need for another, “One Wing will never fly/Neither yours nor mine/I fear we can only wave goodbye”. We’ve seen these types of lyrics throughout Wilco’s career, but perhaps none as simple and straightforward as some of the lyrics throughout the album.
Keyboards and pianos highlight “Bull Black Nova” and second single “You Never Know”, which draws comparisons to the late great George Harrison’s solo work. “You and I” shows off the supporting act quite well, as Feist duets with Tweedy about two lovers sticking together for their special bond. The album encompasses many different phases of Wilco, with the more serious and darker feelings from Foxtrot as well as some of the brighter feelings as displayed on 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, creating a terrific balance from this release.
Here’s our countdown towards WPGU’s Album of the Year:
20. Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3
19. Manchester Orchestra: Mean Everything To Nothing
18. Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg
17. The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
16. Miike Snow: Miike Snow
15. Discovery: LP
14. Silversun Pickups: Swoon
13. Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young
12. Andrew Bird: Noble Beast
11. The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
10. Japandroids: Post-Nothing
9. Arctic Monkeys: Humbug
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz!
7. St. Vincent: Actor
6. Wilco: Wilco (The Album)
#5 coming Wednesday…stay tuned!