Prepare yourself to listen to Wilcos seventh studio album repeatedly because this one is going to take its time to grow on you. Wilcos lead singer and songwriter Jeff Tweedys melancholic vocals are in place though,shining through in songs such as One Wing (the first song youd like to put on repeat thanks to its classic Wilco melody and rhythm) and Bull Black Nova. A macabre song about a man who has just killed his girlfriend,the track starts on a pulse-like beat,creating an uncomfortably intense atmosphere that alters between the description of the act and the desperation that seizes Tweedy when he gasps This cant be undone. The song then whirlpools into an ending with guitar distortions and the same beat,which proves to be rather haunting. The next track,You and I,seems to be bizarrely placed on track list,the duet with Canadian indie-artist Feist is mushy and if youre as thumped by the previous track as I was,itll sound like a flashback before the murder.
You Never Know is very George Harrison-ish and is the first hummable song on the album. But one little gem of a song that will captivate you is Solitaire. It reminded me of Nick Drakes tunes,with its melody but is Tweedys song alone as he sings Once my life was a game,So unfair,Beat me down and kept me there,Unaware of my naysayer,Solitaire was all I was playing. One of the most pleasant surprises on the album is Deeper Down,with richly textured melodies intertwining without losing focus of the base melody. Ill Fight fails to impress even though it sounds like one of their older songs from A.M. or even Sky Blue Sky. The album tapers to its end with Sonny Feeling,an upbeat track about a high-school boy who gets into a duel that leaves with him saying You know its true,The other shoe,it waits for you,making you tip your hat to Tweedys songwriting talent. The final offering on the album is Everlasting Everything that in spite of its orchestral chorus is gloomy and fatalistic. But overall,remember to keep the album on loop,you never know when a song can hit you in the gut with its lyrics,its melody or the sheer Wilco-ness of it all.