Wilco — The Whole Love
By Ben Allen
Wilco’s eighth full length is an adventurous, ambitious recording, especially when compared to the relatively “safe” last two albums Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album)” the band released.
Opener “Art of Almost” is the most experimental track the band has produced since 2004’s stellar A Ghost Is Born record. It’s A lush and foreboding sound with strings and synths anchored by Jeff Tweedy’s voice.
Other highlights are the bouncy, upbeat “I Might” and the triumphant, sprawling album closer “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend).”
Wilco is at their best when their recordings manage to be both accessible and challenging. The band’s label famously shelved
2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, allegedly for not containing a “single”. While parts of the record emphasized producer Jim O’Rourke’s
more experimental mixes, the album was wildly popular with fans and remains their highest selling recording to date.
The Whole Love features Tweedy and company taking calculated risks, keeping the listener intrigued while maintaining just enough of the band’s signature sound. (7.5/10)
Ben Allen, in addition to being a long-time NadaMucho.com contributor, is the music editor for Savage Henry, a music and culture magazine in Northern California.