Setting aside the freaking awesome album cover, Wilco's latest album generally has a lot more kick than previous album Sky Blue Sky. It has been said that this album is supposed to grasp the concept of each other album that they've come out with in the past. all on one not-so-simple CD. If you've been a Wilco fan for quite sometime, this is clearly audible with songs like Bull Black Nova, a thundery rock ballad, reminding us of A Ghost Is Born, or One Wing, bringing us back to Summerteeth, or Country Disappeared, giving off a strong scent of Sky Blue Sky. However, I noticed that unfortunately, none of these noise-hungry tunes seem to really come close to the perfection of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Deeper Down is about as good as it gets. And even that, though it may have the overlapping dissonant noise in the middle that we hear on Ashes of American Flags (they were clearly trying to imitate), it's efforts to be something more don't quite pull through.
I think many can agree with me on this one, when I say that my favorite song on this record is Wilco (the song). It has the POP and POW of Wilco's earlier material, and at the same time, let's you know that if you're down in the dumps, "Wilco loves you (baby)".
Now, You and I, that's something else completely. The collaboration with our favorite indie pop singer Lesley Feist. Yeah, I bet you read that sentence twice. Glorious, isn't it? Savor that sentence while you can. But very unexpected. An indie pop superstar with a unique, whispery voice, part of experimental rock band Broken Social Scene, singing with Jeff Tweedy, a sort-of alt. country singer. But like anything, they go together like PB & J. Not the band. Although, they go well together too, come to think of it. So no matter what kind of music you like, you'll always find yourself swinging your head back & forth to this sweet and solemn duet.
Then, of course, there's the can't-beat-the-feelin'... feeling, of Sonny Feeling. Especially the chorus, that sticks in your head like gum on hair. Other songs like Solitaire, I'll Fight, and Everlasting Everything just don't match up, and when listening to Wilco (the album), i tend to find myself skipping over these.
To wrap it up, Wilco have managed to once again, write some really good tunes, but in general, place average, 2-dimensional alt-country-ness over unique, 3-dimensional, meaningful songs. And I hate to say it, but my expectations for Wilco these days have sagged. But if they release a new album, in a future age, I supposed there is always fresh hope.