I Have Heard The New WILCO...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Bunn, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    ...and it is very, very good. Truly an amazing record. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot may even be...and I can't believe I am saying this...better than Summer Teeth! I literally had chills the first time I listened to it. With this record WILCO further establishes the fact that they are among the elite pop/rock bands of the last 20 years. Talk about outstanding musicianship? This band is top notch. Jeff Tweedy is one of the most emotional, heartfelt voices in rock music today. He sings with a passion you can feel. This album should shoot right to the top of the charts...but of course it will not with the state of the music industry today. But that's OK...the ones in the know won't mind. Wilco definitely has a big enough core following to put enough money in their pockets to keep them going.
    Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is similar in some respects to Summer Teeth, but has a different overall feel about it. You still hear a 60's influence on this record, but this is just great music, plain and simple. It is more melodic taken as a whole (despite the opening track), where Summer Teeth was a bit abrasive at times. A brief description of the songs:
    The opening track "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" starts out as classic WILCO, with Tweedy's outstanding vocal the highlight, then evolves into an interesting mix of instrumentation and feedback, and would have fit well on Summer Teeth. Great opening track.
    Track 2: Kamera - Probably the best pure pop song on the record. Impossible not to like this song, with a melody that will stay with you after it is over.
    Track 3: Radio Cure - Another great Tweedy vocal. Interesting sounds heard through this one around Tweedy's vocal...organ, guitar effects, etc. A slow tempo tune that draws you in.
    Track 4: War On War - Love this song. Mid tempo pace. Incredible musicianship. Catchy, melodic, somewhat simple song. But there is just something about it.
    Track 5: Jesus, etc. - This one will grab you from the first note. Tweedy's vocal will hold your attention throughout, surrounded by outstanding instrumentation (spot a trend here?!) Absolutely great pop song. Upon first listen it may be the one that stands out the most, but that is a difficult thing to say being that every single song is outstanding!
    Track 6: Ashes of American Flags - A different sort of Wilco song musically, moving in and out of different musical phases, again ending with an interesting mix of instruments.
    Track 7: Heavy Metal Drummer - Oh my! What can I say about this one. Up tempo, humourous...sounding a bit like classic Kinks. Nice background vocals..."hooooo....hooooo....aaah".
    It just keeps getting better!
    Track 8: I'm The Man Who Loves You - Musically this one has a late 60's/early 70's era Rolling Stones feel to it with a "Sympathy For The Devil" type background vocal that makes its influence quite obvious, with some Keith Richards type guitar licks thrown in. But you know what? It works. Great song.
    Track 9: Pot Kettle Black - Another great pop song...catchy as all get out! Another one that could have fit right on Summer Teeth. This may be the catchiest track on the record. Maybe even the best track period. Outstanding.
    Track 10: Poor Places - Great heartfelt vocal from Tweedy...again. This man sings on an emotional level that is unrivaled in pop music. His voice just overflows with feeling. Listen to this song for proof. Clocking in at over 5 minutes, this is one of the many highlights on the album.
    Track 11: Reservations - A mesmerizing song. Over 7 minutes in length. If "Poor Places" doesn't convince you that Jeff Tweedy has one of the most heartfelt voices going today in pop music then the first half of this one should. An atmospheric, ethereal kind of song throughout, slowing down midway to almost a stop, then crawling to the finish. But, again, there is something about it that keeps you locked in.
    WILCO is a special band. This album should only further prove it. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is simply an amazing album. I can't say that enough. Upon first listen I would say that this is an "instant classic", if there is such a thing. Upon first listen I believe this album to be one of the better works of pop music in the last 20 years. Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I am bias, being a huge WILCO fan. But this album tops their last one, and that is no small feat indeed. The critics are going to love this one...for whatever that is worth. And it will probably be WILCO's best selling album commercially as well...for whatever that is worth. Bottom line, this album is utterly outstanding...amazing...incredible. Get it...pop it in the CD player...sit back and listen to it all the way through for one of the most enjoyable, amazing musical experiences you have had in a long time.
    Trust me...don't miss this one!
    [Edited last by Brian Bunn on August 21, 2001 at 01:41 PM]
     
  2. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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    Brian, two questions:
    1. Where did you hear it?
    and
    2. Hook me up. [​IMG]
    I was just reading about the whole Reprise Records ordeal over on Wilco's website, and after reading your review, I am bummed as hell that I'm not able to listen to this record right now. It's a shame to think that a label like Reprise rejected this record. Read all about it here:
    http://www.wilcoweb.com/trib.html
    Wilco is one of those bands which I want everybody to know about, but don't want anyone to know about, all at the same time. Can't wait for them to get their record label troubles over with so they can put that album out and get on with their lives. . .
    -mwb-
    ------------------
    Obi-Wan (to Anakin):
    Why do I think you're going to be the death of me?
    Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
    May 22, 2002
     
  3. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    Matt--Just read the article at the Wilco site. I had no idea this album was in limbo. Last I heard it was due to be released in September. I can't even imagine how Reprise could reject this album! Incredible. Just goes to show you the state the music industry is in today. And to think the executive vice president of A & R at Warner Brothers Inc., David Kahne, was believed to have stated "the record was so bad it would kill Wilco's career". You have got to be kidding me!? How can this guy be a higher up in the record industry? He is completly clueless. The people in the know over at Reprise (if there are any) need to get this man fired pronto!
    Trust me...this album WILL be released. On a major, indie...whatever. It HAS to be. You just can't keep music this good from seeing the light of day.
    What a shame for all WILCO fans, and all other true music fans, that this album is not being released right away. Have patience...it will be.
     
  4. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    Well, I have just read more bad news for WILCO fans. Jay Bennett, the multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, has left the band. Bennett has been a huge part of the Wilco sound on the last 3 albums. He left to do some of his own stuff, and "didn't have the same enthusiasm for being a part of the band", it states on the Wilco web site. Bennett went a long way in helping to create the bands sound on the last few albums and it will be interesting to see how the band does without him. But needless to say they are forging ahead, with a fall tour planned, despite the fact that their new album is in limbo. The WILCO soap opera continues!
     
  5. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    Brian said: Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I am bias, being a huge WILCO fan.
    Brian, I do believe you are overreacting, but I am glad for your enthusiasm. I too am a huge Wilco fan and as much as I like YHF I still feel it is my least favorite of their works (minus Billy Bragg collaborations) which goes to speak volumes about how great 'Being There', 'Summerteeth', and 'AM' were. This record is heavily influenced by Jim O'Rourke's production which can be a good or band thing. I do not believe this record will see the light of day this year as it takes way too much money to properly promote a release this late in the game nearing the 4th quarter and whoever gets this record is going to want to do it right unlike Aol Time Warner who is as clueless about music as they are about widescreen vs pan and scam demand. The loss of Jay Bennett is huge as he was the mastermind behind much of Wilco's sound. He will not be easily replaced. I am more excited right now for Tweedy's ex partner (Uncle Tupelo) and ex Son Volt leader, Jay Farrar's brilliant release "Sebastopol" that comes out September 25th and I was always a greater fan of Wilco that I was of Sun Volt.
    ps. If you are a Wilco fan I hope you have picked up Tim Easton's "The Truth About Us" (featuring Ken Coomer, Jay Bennett, John Stirrat). Still my favorite record released this year!!!
     
  6. Joel Turpin

    Joel Turpin Agent

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    Boy, what an roller-coaster thread this is. Start off by reading a great review of an upcoming Wilco album - very high. Feeling great. Then the news that it's been rejected??? by their label. Down down down. But, they're still going to tour (this is one of the top bands on my "yet to see" list). Good news. Back on top. Except Jay Bennet is leaving. Man, you just can't win for trying.
    At least Grant Lee Phillips and Ryan Adams have new discs hitting the shelves.
    BTW - Love the Tim Easton album as well. Does ANYONE know where I can get a copy of Special 20? It's out of print and I've been unable to pick up a stray disc anywhere. Starting to annoy me.
    Joel
     
  7. Brian Bunn

    Brian Bunn Second Unit

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    Yes it has been a roller coaster ride. It is just hard to understand how an album like YHF can be rejected with all the, uh, less than desirable/low-talent (garbage?) acts that are put out every week. I know it's all about $$$ and the teeny bopper and rap albums are the big sellers, but come on...there has to be room for some kind of musical integrity...for bands like WILCO who write, create and perform their own music even though it may be heard by a smaller audience. Room for some experimenting with their sound from album to album. If a record label has a band like WILCO on their musical roster they have to understand that, surely. This whole revelation about the WILCO album is very disheartening. But I have known for a good while now that the indie labels are where it's at. Indie labels like SpinArt Records, Permanent Press, Not Lame, Yep Roc Records, Bobsled Records...there is some great stuff being put out by indie labels like these.
    WILCO's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot IS a bit experimental at times. They do tinker with some different sounds on the album on some of the tracks (namely "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", "Radio Cure", "Ashes of American Flags", "Reservations"). But above it all it still has the WILCO sound, only with a few twists thrown in here and there...which only adds to the appeal of the album. All WILCO fans know that they change/add to there sound somewhat from album to album...which is a big reason we all can't wait to hear the next WILCO album. Maybe a better term to use is "expand"...they expand upon their sound from album to album. All their albums have that basic WILCO sound, from A.M. to Being There to Summer Teeth to YHF. They just expand upon it from one to the other. I guess this last expansion of the WILCO sound just pushed it too far for some at Reprise. But I just don't see it. YHF is not THAT experimental. And what there is only adds to the appeal of the album...holding the listener in even more.
    I don't think I am overreacting when I say YHF is a great album. I have listened to it numerous times now. And every time I do I find myself shaking my head saying to myself "How could they do it? How could Reprise reject this album?". When I first listened to Summer Teeth, believe it or not, I wasn't all that impressed. I put it aside for a few weeks, then one day pulled it out and gave it another chance and it clicked...I got it. After that I kind of realized what WILCO is all about. And learning from that "mistake", when I heard YHF...from the 1st listen...it clicked. The sounds coming from my speakers held my attention like not many albums do. I couldn't stop listening until the last song ended. And I felt like I had just listened to the work of some sort of musical genius.
    My review of this album is pure, "from the heart" so to speak...not influenced by any other reviews I may have read, of course, because there isn't any. But I can't wait for this album to be released so I can read the reviews/reactions of others to YHF. It will be very interesting.
    I agree the Tim Easton album is excellent. For more "Wilco-esque" bands check out Hangtown "11 Reasons", The Honeydogs "Here's Luck", and Clem Snide's "The Ghost of Fashion" and "Your Favorite Music". Also check out SWAG "Catch-All", featuring Ron Coomer, Doug Powell, Tom Peterson
    (of Cheap Trick), Jerry Dale McFadden, and Robert Reynolds...great 60's influenced pop.
     
  8. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    I don't think this album is more experimental than or a departure from either Being There or Summer Teeth, both more dissimilar to A.M. It's much along the exact path, if not a melding of elements from those two discs, favoring Summer Teeth's Beatlesque moments.
    The band will find a new home and the album will be released, and they are currently preparing to tour. These changes are all peanuts compared to the time around Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne (hence the selection of the name Wilco, as in 'will comply'). I remember the night of the final UT show ever, and Jeff's mom bragging to me that he had so many songs to make in the future...
    Bands that change line up's are so real to me... As filmmaking reveals - great art comes from apparent, and often literal chaos [​IMG] Jeff and Billy Bragg didn't have perfectly smooth sailing together during the excellent Mermaid Avenue creations.
    Note that Jay Farrar's departure from Son Volt, the album Sebastapol, will be released 09/25. Contributions to this album are by members of Superchunk, The Flaming Lips, and the Bottle Rockets, also with Gillian Welch, Kelly Joe Phelps, and David Rawlings.
    ------------------
    My DVD Library
    Runaway production? No thanks. Where I've filmed, benefiting local economies: AL, CA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, TX, WA, WY.
    [Edited last by Scott H on August 25, 2001 at 12:18 AM]
     
  9. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    Farrar's record will have 3 bonus tracks on the initial pressing
    [Edited last by MatS on August 30, 2001 at 08:33 PM]
     
  10. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    For some reason, I've never been big on Wilco... but Ken Coomer's work with Clockhammer was some of the best damned drumming I've ever heard! I wish they'd do some sort of reunion album.
     

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