It is hard to follow up a masterpiece but that is what Jeff Tweedy and company did when the showed the world Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002. YHF was hailed by critics and put on the top of the best of lists at the end of the year. But that is all hype by pious music journalists and psuedo intellectuals who spend too much time stroking their egos and reading MOJO.
Wilco is Jeff Tweedy’s band. He is Wilco. That is why I was eager to wrap my ears around the new release A Ghost is Born. I found that this album gets better with repeated listens but at times Tweedy seems to be pushing the sonic experimentation too far. I am talking about the migraine induced Less Than You Think. The white noise and constant hum will have you thinking that you are at a gigantic construction site with metal screeching dozers and grinding cement trucks. Why? Wilco needs to stick to what they do best. The lush harmonies and Beatlesque music of Summerteeth are gone in favor of long and drawn out guitar solos. The formula seems to work on great songs like Hummingbird and Spiders (Kidsmoke), and all in all this is another Wilco classic. I would put it behind their opus Summerteeth and the distant blip filled Yankee Hotel Foxtrot but its good enough in its own right.
If you take away the awful Less Than You Think then it could be perfect. Wilco remains one of the greatest American bands and for that I can forgive them for one bum track.
Written by Ben Matulich for BuzzgrinderPowered by Sidelines