Review: What’s In a Name

Wilco (the album)

On Wilco (the album), the solid but unspectacular CD due out June 30th, Wilco rolls together the various genres that at various points have characterized its music—country-folk, orchestral pop, blue-eyed soul, experimental rock. For all its diversity, the music sounds cohesive, largely because in the band’s current roster, the leader, Jeff Tweedy, has found musicians who can turn avant-garde music into pop, and vice versa. That ability is displayed thrillingly in the jarring piano and wigged-out guitar crescendo of “Black Bull Nova,” but Wilco can play it straight, too: “You and I,” Tweedy’s lovely duet with Feist, is certain to be a hit with the NPR crowd. It’s telling that at times Wilco overtly references the Beatles, quoting a George Harrison guitar lick during “You Never Know” and including “A Day in the Life”—style piano and a Ringo drumroll on “Country Disappeared.” The Beatles, too, were a musically ambitious pop band fond of both experimental flourishes and folksy turns, a description that encompasses both Wilco (the album) and Wilco the band.

 

Photograph: Chris Strong

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment