Wilco's highly anticipated new album, Sky Blue Sky, in usual Wilco style, is quite a leap from previous releases. While the album is vaguely reminiscent of Wilco's early records, A.M. and Being There, the album adds some jammy tones to their progressive sound.
The album is much less diverse the previous two Wilco records. It is very mellow and doesn't really digress from that sound at all. At the same time, some of the album's speed crazy, jam band-like guitar riffs seem really out of place. They remind me of a dreadful time that I had to sit through a Dicky Betts show.
The album does have a few saving graces though. The album's title track, "Sky Blue Sky," is a beautiful tune with an Jon Brion-esque, quirky pop melody that is very refreshing and very different for Wilco.
Where the album really hits is stride though, is the last three tracks.
"Waken" is an amazing quirky pop tune which may be the best track on the record. "What Light," (click the song title to download) the first song released from the new record, bears a stunning resemblence to some of Dylan's early records. It's a soulful tune complete with pedal steel and vocal harmonies that really soothe the soul. The last track is the beautiful "On and On and On." It's a very dynamic piano tune that moves very symphonically and resembles a number of tunes on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Overall, the new Wilco record is just average. I've come to expect more from Wilco over the years and this record delivers a sound that lacks the innovation that previous records offered.
Sky Blue Sky will be out on May 15 via Nonesuch Records.
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