Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Album Review: Wilco - The Whole Love (2011)

This article has taken a very long gestation...

Never underestimate the song order of an album.
Never is this more appropriate than on Wilco's 8th studio offering.
Deluxe Edition
Standard Edition

The first track "Art of Almost" is by far the strongest in the set.  It is also the most experimental, most Radiohead-baiting; and it casts a long shadow over the rest of the album - much the same way Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has over the albums since 2002.

That's not to say that the album's a dud, not by a long shot.

I have been following Wilco since their Uncle Tupelo days.
Many tracks here have close cousins - they sound like old songs re-jigged with new lyrics slapped on top.

What the band has done here is picked their fans' favourites, examined the elements which worked and built "new" songs around them, thereby playing to the band's strengths.
In a word, it's also wilco-by-numbers.

This is a shame considering what I know the band is capable of.
Even the (often) slap-happy lyrics seem to have taken a back seat -
Am I sadistic to think the best artists are the tortured ones???

And by contrast, the pared down live version:


No comments:

Post a Comment