Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reviewed :: Wilco - The Whole Love

With the addition of another writer to the pages of The Ash Gray Proclamation I hope to up our flow of content, however this also means I now must share the writing duties, even if that means reviews of a long time favorite like Wilco. All and all I welcome the assistance especially when it comes from the hands from one of my venerable cohorts. This time around, our new guy, Los Gamester takes a look at the recently released eighth long player from Wilco and the first to be released from the bands Dbpm Records. In the words of our beloved Silkworm, Treat The New Guy Right. Op-ed.

Thank goodness for NPR Music's streaming of The Whole Love I was able to review the new album prior to this weeks release date.Reviewing other people's creative efforts sure is hard. After reading Bryan's interview with Noel Kelly from The Hush Now who am I to say, you know what Noel, thanks for working all day and using all of your free time to make great music.

Music is art, and artists push boundaries. Its uncomfortable at times as fan but a listener, you either leap with them or you don't. Radiohead has always made me leap, R.E.M. not after Document, and GBV,well let's hope GBV never make a leap.

Wilco's apparent holy grail is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, an album I only listened to in earnest this year and its very good. But if they never evolved from their roots drenched debut, A.M., you would never have heard the likes of Via Chicago, Hate it Here, Theologians or any of the tracks found on Wilco's new offering. The Whole Love is a great combination of distortion, lead guitars, bells, a theremin, interesting back up vocals (especially as songs end) and dreamy, minimalist songs that they do so well. It starts with the opening track, the trippy Art of Almost witch to my ears evokes The Verve with its flourishes of electronics and use of strings. I'm not sure I'm in love with the album version, but if you listen to the Wilco concert (also up on NPR) its fantastic.

Black Moon sounds like the song they should have overlaid in the movie No Country For Old Men, when Josh Brolin made the fateful trip back to the desert. It takes a solid band to have you latch on to its darkest track on the album as your first listen favorites. As one of my favorite book and one of the best movie adaptations ever, its pretty lofty company. Born Alone continues Wilco's string of great sounding songs that are crushingly sad. What's interesting about the album is that after the first two songs, you think its going to be really loud, but its the quiet, introspective songs that really shine and the contrast to the loud stuff is especially delicious.

To finish on a lighter note, when I listen to Capital City I swear it was written for The Simpsons Can you hear it with a montage of Phil Hartman characters walking through Springfield and Capital City?

Wilco - I Might by dBpm Records

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