I remember being introduced to Wilco about ten years ago by my friend Mark in the basement of a house we shared in Seattle. And, the first album I ever possessed was Being There, given to me by my brother-in-law shortly after I got married. Yet, Wilco never really struck a chord with me until I was given the gift of a lifetime last fall: Sky Blue Sky.

Since then, I have probably listened to Sky Blue Sky in it's entirety three times a week. I listen to it all the time. In fact, after I finish this blog post, I am going to go to bed and listen to them as I fall sleep. Seriously, I am absolutely in love with the album. Serious Wilco Schoolboy-Crush-for-Teacher Love. It's a little ridiculous, actually.

Sadly, the closest they're playing to Seattle this summer is Las Vegas, but I've seen shows in Vegas, so I'd prefer to see them at Red Rocks (which, at last check, is not sold out!). I'm trying to get Lisa, my wife, to go because we've never been to Red Rocks, and it's a place we both would like to see. On second thought, maybe we shouldn't go...I've built the expectations up so high in my mind.

Anyhow, Lisa likes Wilco, but has a very hard time placing the name with the face, so to speak. Nearly every time I put them on...which is a lot...she asks "I like this, who is it?" We joke now that she knows who it is; that when she's asking "who is this?" that it's Wilco, duh.

I don't know what Lisa likes about them, but what I like about Sky Blue Sky is the sound. Oh, that sound! I've listened to the album 100 times and I barely know any of the words. As far as I'm concerned, the words are just part of the sound...a cornucopia of carefully crafted and beautiful melodies that stir nostalgic and bittersweet emotions. Music that touches my soul.

This may be naive, but I've described Sky Blue Sky previously as a mix of John Lennon's Beatles and Don Henley's Eagles. I say it that way not just because of the music, but specifically for the lead singer's voice: at times, as I listen, I swear that I am hearing a perfect blend of those to voices. There's grit and soul in Lennon's voice, and wistfulness in Henley's. Or, at least, that's how I hear it.

Views: 110

Tags: Awesomeness, Beatles, Don, Eagles, Henley, John, Lennon, The, Wilco

Comment by Jason Paul Johnston on May 28, 2009 at 9:24am
I'm with you, Scott. I've been listening to Wilco for a few albums before this one and the sound is amazing on Sky Blue Sky. I'm looking forward to hearing their new one in it's entirety. Thanks for the post. Like your tags too. :)
Comment by Scott Porad on May 28, 2009 at 9:50am
They have a new album coming out? I did not know that...and I cannot wait!
Comment by Kim Ruehl on May 28, 2009 at 10:43am
Scott - it's called Wilco (The Album) and it drops June 30! They were streaming it for free on their website last week, but looks like that's stopped.
Comment by Easy Ed on May 28, 2009 at 11:29am
I've been listening to the new album for about ten days now, and it's been a real treat. And the new Son Volt is making me do somersaults. Wow...we are blessed to get these two in the same season.
Comment by Big Joe Burke on May 28, 2009 at 12:35pm
I've made a habit of listening to Sky Blue Sky a lot over the past year and there's much to appreciate. The sound, production, performances - all of it. The songs are first rate and I have to admit I appreciate the lack of self-indulgence that accompanied 'A Ghost is Born' (7 minutes of feedback and refrigerator noises is a bit much).

Tweedy brings the focus back to the songs and it really pays off. A beautiful album that bears up well over multiple listens.

I also had a chance to hear the live stream of 'Wilco (The Album)' and really like what I heard. Looking forward to the release.
Comment by Ken Carter on May 29, 2009 at 1:01pm
I also love Sky Blue Sky. While I would rank Yankee Hotel Foxtrot among my five favorites of all time, Sky Blue Sky is more melodic, and I also find myself listening to it over and over again. I especially like the subdued hopefulness of "Either Way", and "Impossible Germany", where I often sense that there are channeling the Eat A Peach stage Allman Brothers. After the complexity of what Wilco had been through---and the artistic results of that period are amazing---this cd is a fitting complement.
Comment by T Hanssen on May 31, 2009 at 10:40pm
Critics said "meh" but I liked this one from the get-go. "Impossible Germany" is a particular favorite. I hear Thin Lizzy in the dual guitar play of the outro, but I could also see comparisons to the Allmans. I love Tweedy's experimental side (particularly his work with Loose Fur), but also appreciate the restraint of this album. On the down side, I don't much care for "Hate It Here" and am sort of ambivalent to "Walken" and "Shake It Off." Still, a very enjoyable album for me.
Comment by Craig Cummings on June 2, 2009 at 10:34am
Sky Blue Sky was one of the best releases of 2007 and the power of that recording is evidenced by the fact that we are blogging about it in the middle of 2009 - talking about the songs with the enthusiasm usually reserved for newly discovered artists or music. Impossible Germany is probably the finest song on the CD, with its lilting, intertwined guitars taking the listener on an aural journey similar to the Grateful Dead's "Franklin's Tower" or some of the music from "Eat a Peach," the Allman Brothers Band's salute to the then recently departed Duane Allman.

My personal favorite is Hate It Here. I don't think I have ever heard rock music document the feel of a marriage disintegrating better than this. Sky Blue Sky is intelligent, adult rock and roll. A real slice of Americana. It is nice to see it being appreciated and critiqued on the No Depression website.
Comment by Rolf Gidlow on June 2, 2009 at 1:40pm
Scott, go see them at Red Rocks. I've never been there, but I did see Wilco in June, 2007 when they were touring behind Sky Blue Sky. They played in Burlington, VT under a cloudless sky and the sun setting behind the Adirondacks. It was a magical night - the band was tight but relaxed (JT and Pat Sansone dancing during the guitar counterpoint section of Impossible Germany), Jeff Tweedy was in a great mood (he held a toddler dance contest to "Shake It Off" and gave a t-shirt to the winning child). One of the most memorable concerts I've seen in more than 40 years of concert-going. Even the poster that they issued commemorating the event blends perfectly with the decor in my den. Perfect!
Comment by Guy Browne on June 2, 2009 at 2:32pm
I love my Wilco.... but I always wonder what Uncle Tupelo records would be sounding like by now if the band hadn't imploded.

Back to Wilco, adding Nels Cline to the band was a master stroke. I love his music and his projects, but I don't believe Jay Farrar would have had the humility to bring on such a talent.

Comment

You need to be a member of No Depression Americana and Roots Music to add comments!

Join No Depression Americana and Roots Music

Sponsors



If you enjoy this site please consider helping us with a small donation!

Don't like PayPal? Mail a check to: No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


When you shop at Amazon please enter through this search box and No Depression receives a referral fee

Notes

FAQ

Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.