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Wilco (The Thread)

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I don't mind a band resting on their laurels as long as they manage to maintain a certain amount of quality songwriting-wise. TWL didn't break a lot of new ground either (well, the first and last song kinda do) but at least it didn't feature songs Jeff wrote in his sleep. So yes, in the end W(TA) is pretty useless, it's not terrible but it's the kind of album I wouldn't miss at all if it never existed save from a few songs (Bull Black Nova, Deeper Down & Country Disappeared mostly).

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i feel like the trying too hard to do an ARTY ROCK SONG thing applies more to bull black nova than art of almost, even if i like both

 

also i think that if whole love was released before w(ta) people would view it differently

 

like sky blue sky seemed to have been taken as a dad rock detour album and then when w(ta) came out, people were like "oh, this is what wilco is now" and didn't give whole love its due b/c of it, but it's a very good album

I wonder what some people on Atease/Annex are talking about when they act all like TWL got a negative reception, it was in fact their best reviewed album since YHF.

 

 

eh, i'm talking more about the overall interest in the record, i mean yes maybe technically if you add up the scores it's well received, but the general reaction was basically "oh look another wilco album"

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I dunno, I don't think it sold any less than their previous albums or made people less enthousiastic about the band, I remember when they played 2 nights in a row here on the  TWL tour both evenings sold out pretty fast. If anything, many people seemed to be relieved it was at least a lot better than W(TA) and (though I personally don't agreed with that) SBS.

I guess fans who genuinly still expected something on the level of YHF were disappointed but they'll never be pleased.

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it's because of the slightness of the lyrics for me.  Tweedy is one of the greatest living songwriters and we get stuff like "Passenger Side" and "I Must Be High."  now, i like both of those songs, but that isn't the type of lyric i like from Jeff.

 

-justin

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not enough talk about "Country Disappeared" (although i saw one mention).  best song on Wilco (The Album).

-justin

Yeah, I mentioned it... imo it's the kind of ballad Jeff was trying to create at the beginning of the second half of Sky Blue Sky but didn't really get back then. One of the few stand-outs on W(TA) for sure.

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it's because of the slightness of the lyrics for me.  Tweedy is one of the greatest living songwriters and we get stuff like "Passenger Side" and "I Must Be High."  now, i like both of those songs, but that isn't the type of lyric i like from Jeff.

 

-justin

I agree but most of those lyrics don't really try to be very meaningful. I mean, eg Casino Queen is a pretty fucking dumb song about a dude gambling his money away but at least Tweedy knows it. Compared to eg You Never Known or Wilco (the Song), stuff that is supposed to be "fun" but actually has an unintended but pretty condescending message to it if you AM is mostly harmless. 

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man, picking on am's lyrics makes no sense to me tbh

 

thats the album where wilco deserved to be called a country band, mostly cuz of the lyrics. passenger side is one of the best songs jeffs ever written tbph

 

theremin actually p otm there. jeff knew exactly what he was doing on am and it works imo

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way late to the conversation but Capitol City has always been one of my favorites from TWL. Definitely not a top-tier Wilco song but it's a pleasant tune with some great vocals from dad. Was on my playlist of exclusive tunes I would play when I was hungover my sophomore year of college

 

but yeah, Capitol City rules

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it's because of the slightness of the lyrics for me.  Tweedy is one of the greatest living songwriters and we get stuff like "Passenger Side" and "I Must Be High."  now, i like both of those songs, but that isn't the type of lyric i like from Jeff.

 

-justin

 

just you are a silly, silly man.

 

"passenger side" is as nearly as good a drunk ballad as the replacements at their best.

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listening to W(TA) again and there's only 3 tracks i really don't care for (You and I, You Never Know and Sonny Feeling)

 

Everlasting Everything doesn't get enough credit as just a notch below Bull Black Nova, Deeper Down and Country Disappeared

 

Whole Love has 2 stinkers but more middling songs that are just fine imo

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definitely think Art of Almost is more "arty"

multiple movements, electronic washes (not really something they've messed with too much)

bull black nova is a relatively straightforward composition with some noise elements

Art of Almost is just a jam. Nothing spectacularly arty about that.

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i mean it's definitely more than just a jam though. it's a really tightly arranged song with great production, but it features a string arrangement at one point and electronic flourishes. i can see you making the argument for the end of the song being a jam, but that's a different statement.

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Art of Almost is great and it was one of the stand outs and an instant crowd favorite both times I saw them on the TWL tour.

Unlike Bull Black Nova btw, still my favorite song on W(TA) but they never got that one quite right live.

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not a fan of "electronic flourishes" as a buzzword stand in for "synths and maybe a drum machine"

 

ok your words are better, but my point was that you don't use programmed synth line and strings and a drum machine and have these huge level fades on "just a jam". i guess that description just feels reductive to me

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not a fan of "electronic flourishes" as a buzzword stand in for "synths and maybe a drum machine"

 

ok your words are better, but my point was that you don't use programmed synth line and strings and a drum machine and have these huge level fades on "just a jam". i guess that description just feels reductive to me

 

Yeah I was being a little offhand but I think the thrill of Art of Almost fades really quick and it isn't really where Wilco's strength lies. Not that I think is a bad tune.

 

Reading through this thread has made me revisit a bunch of the Wilco albums.. i came to them after YHF and CI is right, YHF and Ghost is Born are outliers - especially YHF, which seems to have been Tweedy tearing Wilco down to build them back up again. As if the Wilco of old had become a straight jacket and he had to do a Houdini - and I've kind of always found the 'Amerrican Radiohead' tag sits uncomfortably with me. These dudes are dad rock - as in Classic Rock - but they're at the vital end of it and having been willing to take risks. YHF and AGIB were skin-shedding albums both expectations wise and (i think in Tweedy's case) lifestyle wise. Since then their albums have remained actually more consistent than I remember but the risk taking and tearing up of their own rule book seems in the past, for better or worse.

 

An aside, am I alone in thinking Nels should be given the boot?

Boofie Brown likes this

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Nels is underused as far as album performances go, he's barely on W(TA) at all and his sonic textures are actually one of the main reasons TWL was a more interesting record. Kicking him out of the band would be the dumbest possible move at this point, that'll only lead to more W(TA)s.

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