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Posts Tagged ‘wilco (the album)’

Top 10 albums of 2009!

In music, recommendations, reviews on January 2, 2010 at 9:20 am

Here it is. With great jubilation, I present to you my ten favorite albums of 2009. I think we all can agree that this was a great year for music. For serious. At the end of 2008, I had a very rough time compiling my list (and looking back there are plenty of changes I would make). There were only about five albums that stood out. While there were other very good ones, none of them had the elusive “it”. This year, I have a list of about 20 albums that could very easily make the cut. Nevertheless, here are those lucky albums to earn a spot.

1. The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You


2. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone

3. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

4. Wilco – Wilco (the album)

5. M. Ward – Hold Time

6. U2 – No Line on the Horizon

7. The Swell SeasonStrict Joy

8. Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome

9. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

10. The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love

Now I have to admit, I even had second thoughts while writing this. The number ten spot could have gone to a few other albums (Brandi CarlileJohn Mayer, and Volcano Choir among others), and I’ve been recently listening to several records that could take a spot upon further listening (Joe HenryDave Rawlings Machine, The Low Anthem), but here’s my list and I’m sticking to it.

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Wilco (rocks)

In music, recommendations, reviews on July 7, 2009 at 10:17 pm

I realize that for a lot of people, my endorsement of Wilco’s cleverly titled new album, Wilco (the album) doesn’t hold a ton of water. There are very few bands/artists that I hold in as high esteem as Wilco. Jeff Tweedy is a consistently excellent songwriter and every incarnation of the band has put out some incredible music.

While throughout the years, they have had a constantly evolving cast (Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt are the only original members), Wilco is currently running on it’s longest-lasting lineup and the results have been glorious. While Sky Blue Sky was a great album in it’s own right, it largely felt like Wilco hit the refresh button – it was basically a live album recorded in the studio. Wilco (the album) on the other hand, is a self-consciously studio-driven venture. One of the best parts of the album is that the band sounds like they had a blast making it.

Sonically, there are traces to be found from every stage of their history and this is one of the reasons why Wilco (the album)‘s title is so appropriate – it is the best statement of Wilco (the band)’s complex identity ever recorded on tape. It also reminds us that even throughout the sonic deconstruction of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born, at his core Tweedy has always been a writer of great pop songs.

From the first chords of ‘Wilco (the song)’ to Nels Cline’s jazzy noodling on the close to ‘Everlasting Everything’, Wilco (the band) has once again proven to be one of the most exciting bands in the world and Wilco (the album) is the latest installment of their near-perfect catalogue. It is also some of the finest music you’ll hear this year. Or next.