WILCO – ” Love Is Everywhere (Beware) “

Posted: January 1, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

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There’s nothing cheerful about Wilco’s weary new release, “Ode to Joy”, but Jeff Tweedy’s sullen, even sardonic, songs on the band’s 11th studio album are no less appreciable for their dark matter. The decaying guitar tones, sorrowful flourishes, and incessant stomp of “Bright Leaves” sets the tone from the outset, as Tweedy sings, “I never change/You never change.” Some songs here are personal (“Hold Me Anyway”), others political (“Citizens”), but Wilco accompanies them all the same with their incredible chemistry and a restrained instrumentation that keeps Tweedy’s questions front and center. “I blow my horn for the whole band,” he sings.

“Ode to Joy” is Wilco’s eleventh studio album, and it seems informed by maturity, which is less a newfound dimension than a deepening of the band’s growth over the past decade. Jeff Tweedy’s relative calm in the face of turmoil is the defining force underlying the record, and it’s clear from the outset: his vocals on opener “Bright Leaves” sound like they were recorded as the rest of the room was napping. The song appears to address his marriage; that topic would have been mined for something caustic and even sinister on, say, Summerteeth, but here it is marveled at for its consistency and durability, warts and all. This isn’t head-in-the-sand naiveté, but rather a calculated effort to shun the grim perspectives Wilco may once have embraced.

Everyone’s perennial alt-rock favorites Wilco just want to feel joyful. Is that so much to ask? In 2019’s dire, dreary political climate, maybe it is. Maybe we should risk our individual happinesses to better our community; maybe there’s a way to materialize that joy into political action. That’s the central tension in the band’s song, “Love Is Everywhere (Beware),” It’s the lead single from their newly announced 11th album, “Ode to Joy”.

Ode to Joy – Wilco’s 11th studio album – released October. 4th , 2019 via dBpm Records. The album features 11 new songs written and produced by Jeff Tweedy and recorded by Wilco at The Loft (Chicago, IL) in January 2019. “Love is Everywhere (Beware)” is the first single from the album release.

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