Wilco – Impossible Germany
I almost didn’t buy this record because of the lukewarm reviews. That would have been a huge mistake. Nels Cline adds a whole new dimension to the band. A very good record from one of the best bands operating today. The number of bands that are willing to try new sounds from record to record is quite small; I never bought A Ghost Is Born, but now I’m not sure why.
This is an amazing clip of the band working together. Thank you so much, Dave Beimers, for submitting this song to the Pipeline People Mix ’07–I knew when I heard it I needed to go get the record.
I love the new album. I’ve been a big wilco fan since I saw them live in 1997 on the Being There tour. I don’t care as much for the experimentation that has been their focus since Being There, as I think those albums are a bit uneven on the whole despite the presence of some outstanding individual songs. I feel the same way about Pavement/Steve Malkmus’s track after Wowie Zowie; some good tracks, but just too uneven and frankly a little goofy. I guess I’m just too old school
I think the only backlash I’ve seen against this album so far has been from the younger jet-setters who want Wilco to continue striving to be the “american radiohead.” Thats exactly what they were attempting last time I saw them (touring Yankee Hotel), as Jeff fiddled around with his laptop computer the entire time in an attempt to create crazy feedback and distortion. I love Radiohead even more than Wilco (probably) but it was obvious to me that his talents were best suited towards crafting quality songs.
I really love “your are my face”, “side with the seeds”, and “hate it here” on the new album. There are certainly some strong Beatles-esque flourishes here and there, but luckily I love the beatles as well.
above is the link to the review to which Dave is referring.
ANother similarity that Wilco seems to have with the Beatles is that they can’t seem to satisfy any of their fans. A certain percent have been around since Uncle Tupelo and were not real thrilled with Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born. Chief complaint – why are they changing so much, I like alt-county acoustic.
And, at least according to the above review, those fans who came onboard after the 3rd album now have essentially the same complaint – this new album doesn’t sound like the last few, and since it sounds a little like the first two, they’re moving backward.
For my part, I have liked all the albums for different reasons. But I sincerely hope that the very last thing the Jeff Tweedy considers when he’s working on a song is whether his fans are going to be pleased.
When you look at the great bands/artists over the course of “rock and roll”, whatever that means, most of them are chameleons to some extent. They have to be, otherwise they have 2 or 3 record careers. Great bands try new things, almost all of them have a record that just doesn’t measure up during a transition period, and then they come out on the other side as something completely different.
In Wilco’s case, I think Tweedy understands the need to work with fresh blood. He’s the unquestioned leader of the band, but he’s not afraid to bring in a ringer like Nels Cline to change things up and help develop a new direction for the band, even if only for one or two albums.
For me the best example of this kind of evolution is David Bowie. The guy just couldn’t stand to do the same kind of material for more than a year or two before he had to change everything. He knew Mick Ronson and the Spiders from Mars were the best band he was ever going to have, and he broke it up anyway. I wish a lot of the subsequent records were more even, but you’ve got to give the guy his due: He did what he felt he needed to do to stay fresh.
Yeah, I really enjoyed Foxtrot and the more experimental stuff. The new album is very solid, has some excellent tunes, but all in all I feel like its the same old Wilco just more refined and with tunes I’ve never heard. Like the unreleased tracks off an older album. Which is great, but sometimes when I’m in that mood I just grab the trusty Uncle Tupelo.
just saw em last Friday at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Fabulous. Melodies so sweet. Rock that will make you stomp your feet. Don’t miss them if they come near your town. Still buzzin from the experience.
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