Wilco (The Album) hit shelves June 30 and is a necessity for Wilco lovers old and new. The record doesn't provide listeners with anything truly groundbreaking but instead is more a blend of their recent material with sounds from their distant past. Wilco (The Album) is definitely closely related to the band's previous record, Sky Blue Sky. However, some of the refined, smoothed musical character has been exchanged for reminiscent glances toward the records of the last 10 years. Remarkably, though, the band does this without crushing the creative spirit that has marked their music.
Wilco (The Album), perhaps unsurprisingly, opens with "Wilco (the song)." It is a toe-tapper. However, you may be left disappointed that they would stake their band name on such a radio-friendly song that isn't even long enough to see the three-minute mark. "Bull Black Nova" drizzles listeners with cosmic splotches of guitars and keyboards that accompany Jeff Tweedy's anxious lyrics. The song climaxes to mild cacophony gelled with a bass and drum pedal point. Strange resemblances to "Spider/Kidsmoke" from the album A Ghost is Born are in there, too. Any ears left strained from the previous will likely take refuge in the soothing next track, "You and I," which features a guest appearance by singer-songwriter Feist from Broken Social Scene. It's easy to sing along with Tweedy during "You Never Know" as he charismatically professes his feelings of blatant apathy about some common trends and views of every generation. This song is among the ones that have permeated radio waves and given the public a taste of what's to come.
At the end of the record is a hidden track that certainly shouldn't be missed. The song is bound to take listeners back to Wilco's previous years. It's a melancholy, nostalgic and yet charming way to close the album. Although they will be spending time out West, sadly, it appears Wilco will not be coming through Boise this time around.