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Wilco (The Album)
Wilco (The Album)
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

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 ne...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Wilco
Title: Wilco (The Album)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nonesuch
Original Release Date: 1/1/2009
Re-Release Date: 6/30/2009
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Adult Alternative, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 075597984965


Product Description
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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Member CD Reviews

Brett H. (BlooZRocker)
Reviewed on 8/28/2009...
A high-caliber band of great musicians led by that brilliant Tweedy fellow put together this tasty slice of modern rockin' Americana for the masses. Get it, eat it up, and you'll like it and you won't be grabbing for the tums later on either. After all, its a birthday party for the camel on the front cover, isn't it??? I advise caution when considering what the AMG reviewer above has written above, since he has somehow identified a Bactrian Camel as a llama when llamas don't have humps... Hopefully he knows his music better than his animals!!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Jeff Tweedy (and Wilco) sounding relaxed, and confident
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 06/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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. There is no grand experimenting here that marked the YHF or "A Ghost is Born" albums. Perhaps for the first time ever, Jeff Tweedy sounds like he is at peace with himself, sounding relaxed and confident, and bringing nice, but not ground-breaking, songs. That aside, Wilco has ascended as one of the top live acts around, period. I've seen the band many times in the last 10 years, most recently a few weeks ago at the Bonnaroo music festival, where they brought a fabulous 2 hr set, featuring a number of the songs of the new album, which mashed nicely with older tunes. In all, "Wilco (the album)" brings forth a nice, mature album from a band that knows where it's at, with confidence. I've been on a long ride with this band, and I really like what I'm hearing. Last but not least: props for the cover art of the album, I just love it."
Wilco - Wilco (The Album) 7/10
Rudolph Klapper | Los Angeles / Orlando | 06/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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. The lovely "You and I," meanwhile, is a simple acoustic duet with Feist that initially seems like it's going to choke on cloying amounts of sweetness, but the sincere lyrics ("I think we can take it / all the good with the bad / make something that no one else has") and the unexpectedly natural pairing that Feist and Tweedy make turns it into the album's heartwarming center.

If "You and I" is the heart, then the stunningly crafted "Bull Black Nova" is the dark, twisted brain behind Wilco's talent. Part "Via Chicago" and part "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," the tale of spousal homicide is equally a haunting confessional and an instrumental showcase, particularly past the midpoint where Cline puts on a virtuoso solo that is undeniably Wilco. Tweedy's lyrics are as grainy and real as a black-and-white crime scene photograph, his protagonist worrying "it's my hair / there's blood in the sink / I can't calm down, I can't think" before the guitars coalesce into a distorted, needling whirl and Tweedy sums everything up with a wild shriek: "I freak out / oh black out."

A few songs, however, betray Wilco's lazier tendencies, particularly first single "You Never Know." The tinkling pianos and arena rock riffs showcase the worst from Sky Blue Sky's MOR-ready malaise, and the chorus lacks the kind of rushing energy of "Wilco (The Song)." "I'll Fight" largely falls into the same lite-rock morass, although this time it's Tweedy's uninspired lyrics ("I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go for you / I will" goes the chorus) that doom the song. And it's a shame that the album has to end on the cheesy whimper that is "Everlasting Everything," where Tweedy spouts such wise sentiments as "everything alive must die / every building built to the sky will fall" and the most exciting part is the trippy guitar confetti Cline throws on the end of the track.

But for most of Wilco, the band is more than up to the task of again opening up a new chapter in their history, one that calls up shadows of their past in songs like the mournful, double-tracked "Solitaire" and simultaneously proves that the band are striking out for new territory, like in the uncharacteristically optimistic titular song or the charming "You and I." By balancing the best of their pop sensibilities with their irresistible creative energies, Wilco have made their most confident record, one nearly brimming, even for all its flaws, with possibilities for the future."