Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wilco (the album) Review

Wilco (the album)
[Nonesuch; 2009]

Wilco is one of the most interesting indie rock bands of the last 15 years. Each of their albums has been fairly unique and different. First there was the country debut “A.M” followed by the more popular but still country-ish “Being There” next came a couple of albums with Billy Bragg and then their third album “Summerteeth” which, is an example of Wilco at their prime. Then came the electronica phase and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” which pushed Wilco even more into the mainstream with the popular “Heavy Metal Drummer.” In 2004 they released “A Ghost Is Born” and soon afterward added master guitarist Nels Cline. Sky Blue Sky was released in 2007 and now we have Wilco (the album), let’s see….this is their 7th studio album. It seems that with almost every new album release Wilco’s lineup changes. This time it hasn’t and probably for the better. All the members play an important roll in all of these tunes including their two keyboard/pianists Michael Jorgenson and Pat Sansome.

When I first heard Wilco (the song) back when they played it on The Colbert Report in November ’08 I was a little disappointed. Couldn’t Jeff Tweedy think of anything better to write than “Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you baby?” The more times I’ve heard it the more it grows on you and it is for sure one of the album’s stronger tracks. Track 3 “One Wing” is a sad song, but nonetheless pretty good and worth a listen. On “You and I” Mr. Tweedy brings in Broken Social Scenster Leslie Feist, better known for her solo work for a nice duet. “You Never Know” is one of the best Wilco songs to date and sounds similar to Summerteeth era Wilco. Check out the George Harrison-esque riffs. “Country Disappeared” is a nice, mellower, no chorus tune. “I’ll Fight” sounds like it could of made it on to Sky Blue Sky but with some added organ. “Sonny Feeling has a short solo and is the closest the band gets to something like the amazing guitar work in Sky Blue Sky’s, “Impossible Germany” or “Walken.” “Everlasting Everything” ends the album on a nice note and features some violin and trumpet.

-Eliot Larson, June 27th, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Music.

I've been hearing a lot of Kevin Devine on The Current lately and I'm really enjoying his song called "I Could Be with Anyone"
Apparently he is good friends of Brand New singer Jesse Lacey, which is another band that I started listening to lately. Brand New is a emo-ish band and they go on the Warped Tour, most bands that go on that tour i don't care for but Brand New has some okay songs.

Conor Oberst has a new album out, it's pretty great. Almost half of the songs are written by people in his Mystic Valley Band but even those are great. This is certainly one of the best 2009 releases so far. Highlights include Nikorette, Air Mattress and Bloodline.

Recently a friend burned me an album by a band called Cursive. He gave me their 2003 album called "The Ugly Organ" they are sort of an emo band but never the less an interesting band.They have a cello player and an organ player so most of the songs are pretty interesting. The album closes with a 10 minute epic build up song. My favorite tracks are: Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand, Art Is Hard and The Recluse. The album is produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes fame.

Matt & Kim are a keyboard and drums duo from Brooklyn. They are sort of a more fun version of Mates Of State with a little more energy. Their new album is entitled "Grand" named after the street they live on in New York. They are plenty of fun, and for sure a great listen for fans of Mates of State and Tokyo Police Club. Their single "Daylight" is currently number 13 on the Alternative iTunes charts and was featured in a Bacardi commercial.

The Gaslight Anthem are a great band out of New Jersey. Their most recent album is entitled "The '59 Sound" and is influenced by 50's a 60's rock n' roll. They were origanally tagged as a a punk band but they sound a lot closer to Bruce Springsteen meets The Clash's London Calling. It's hard to describe their music. They have been on the Warped Tour before but their music differs quite a lot from any of the bands that go on the Warped Tour such as Rise Against and The Alkaline Trio. The title track is one of my favorites from 2008.

In music news Conor Obest, Mike Mogis, M. Ward and Jim James are teaming up to put out an album under the name "Monsters Of Folk" which is sure to be interesting.