Review: Wilco “The Whole Love”
Today NPR featured Wilco’s The Whole Love
for a first listen, before it’s official release on September 27.
The Whole Love isn’t an alt-country album by any means. It’s indie pop. And it’s made it hard to believe this band ever played Americana music.
The album opens up with the atmospheric and meandering “Art of Almost” that sets the tone for an album filled with over produced, yet non-formulaic, pop songs combined with oddly arranged sound effects.
“I Might,” (which was released as the album’s first single) is as Wilco front man, Jeff Tweedy described it, an “irreverent pop song.” that shows the band has abandoned their twang in favor of jangly guitars.
There’s a baroque pop feel to this album, with songs like “Sunloathe,” which starts out with an eeriness and eclectic tone in the vain of of Van Dyke Park’s Song Cycle, but unexpectedly leads into a melody reminiscent John Lennon’s, “Real Love.” And then there’s Harry Nilsson-esque “Capitol City,” which is a prime example of a time when the chances Wilco takes, work.
The stand out tracks seem to be those that favor a more stripped down sound like “Open Mind” and the album’s title track, “The Whole Love,” (which is pleasant and poppy but sounds a bit like what Belle and Sebastian has been doing for the past decade), but still, is undeniably catchy.
Though The Whole Love has some cool moments, it’s nothing groundbreaking. It’s an album filled with songs that will eventually grow on the listener, but prove to be more of the same.