The new Wilco album is named Star Wars; I guess there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. It finds the band in loose, fun mode, tightly jamming out their swiftest record in some time. We have the regular black LPs, but also a few copies of the nice coloured vinyl versions! Both come with a download code for the album plus some live material.
- LP £16.99
- Sold out.
- Shipping cost: n/a
- NormanPoints: n/a
- 8714092743890 / Coloured vinyl LP on Anti. Download contains exclusive bonus live material
- Includes download code
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Wilco have been goofing off for like five albums now, so we can probably consider it their primary mode of operation at this point: we had their challenging records in the glitched Americana of ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ and the wannabe drones of (the also secretly very goofy) ‘A Ghost Is Born’, and now we’re dealing with the kids in the back of the class (n.b: we’re trying to cut down on our dad rock analogies). The easy-going, hard-soloing, John Lennoning rock of ‘Sky Blue Sky’ begot ‘Wilco (The Album)’ with more of the same, at more meta rates, where ‘The Whole Love’ was subtler and sometimes a lot stranger, but no less silly at push (“Sunny Feeling” is a quintessential piece of latter-day Wilco). Now we’ve got ‘Star Wars’, which is actually more of a lawsuit than an album, clocking in at just over thirty minutes and focusing more on tight jams with sick ass riffs than songs. Jeff Tweedy is so gonna get detention.
Wilco are masters of the being mischievous, and have been since ‘Being There’: these tracks, with their chunky and pesky electric guitars, prove that Jeff Tweedy is more comfortable making light hearted radio rock. Riffing through this record like he’s Tony Molina heading out to surf, ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t focus on melodic throughlines, and nor does it open with much clarity: on the first two songs, Tweedy’s riding on gleeful, decidedly old-school energy, compacting his band’s folk rock sound while largely ignoring songwriting duties. It’s on the almost grunge of “You Satellite” that things get going; this miniature noise jam sounds like it might have been hastily recorded in his garage with his rock-star son, forgetting itself in a hazy climax, while the patchy twang and organ of “Taste The Ceiling” toys with its light, airy sound and clean electric riffs a la the Lovin’ Spoonful.
It’s safe to say, though, that Jeff Tweedy is totally just doing the Music Is Fun! thing certain musicians realise they can afford to do as their career trundles on. If you need proof, listen to the sneaky “Pickled Ginger”, a song which Tweedy originally played on Parks & Rec as part of a set by imaginary band Land Ho. Music is very stupid, and so are Wilco, kinda, in a good way, sometimes. Oh, fine: often.
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