Wilco (The Album)
Review by Matt McKechnie
One thing that Wilco has done consistently, throughout the span
of their colourful musical career, is be inconsistent. The six man
Jeff Tweedy-led sometimes-rock/sometimes-country/sometimes-
blues/sometimes-pop band has managed to create a bit of a
mysticism about themselves in the sense that they truly cannot
be pinned down to one musical genre. My friend Jeff was always
into Wilco and truthfully, they were always a little too weird for
me. Over the years, though, I've realized that it's the quote un-
quote 'weird' music that is actually saying something noteworthy.
Their last offering (Sky Blue Sky) was met with mixed reviews
as it was far more stripped down than the usual noisy and sonically
experimental sounds of the troupe. 'Wilco (The Album)' takes the
band in a new musical direction and plays upon the un-peggable
nature of their essence. Tweedy's voice still leads the charge of
the sometimes uncertain musical terrain. Leading off the album
is the track 'Wilco (The Song)' which hinges on the repeating
Wilco will love you baby'/
It's almost as if Wilco hints at their own musical super-powers
in a jocular but semi-heartfelt manner. It works as a song and
knowing the spotlight-dodging likes of Tweedy, the band
probably had a great time making and recording this song.
Wilco's slick mysticism even bleeds into the realm of other
popular musicians. Cited as influences for legions of current
pop acts, there's truly no stone they have left unturned.
Even the lovely Lady Feist lends her soothing French voice to
the jangly/romantic pop stylings of 'You And I'.
But so what? So what if they joke about themselves and their
underground popularity? So what if they genre-jump? So what
if Feist and other huge artists love them? What is it that
keeps their listeners coming back for more? I think the main
driver to all of their songs is the voice of Jeff Tweedy. He is
the lone gunman on the vocal tracks and the voice of reason
amidst a smorgasbord of sounds. I think one reason why the
media has given this album such mixed reviews is because
they tried to 'get' something - when in reality, there is
nothing to get. That's the power of Wilco. Even when they
say nothing, they say something.
But don't you fret - Wilco will love you, baby.