Could be fair to say, the treatment of Wilco by mainstream radio mirrors mainstream media's treatment of presidential aspirations for Texas representative Ron Paul. Both with ardent devoted supporters, who corporate "mainstream" media say are too far outside the tastes and beliefs of the majority of everyday Americans to be taken seriously. Even though the numbers of followers and increasing support would say other wise, we are told what you want is what we are being given, while voter turnout and album sales would suggest differently. Taking a John Stewart like approach to the above observation, I state for the record I am not endorsing a candidate or political viewpoint. Nor do I have an inkling of the band's individual or collective political leanings. I do, however, offer my whole hearted support for Wilco's new album "The Whole Love".
With this album, Wilco has simultaneously delivered the pop goods of "Summer Teeth" and experimental daring of the seminal "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" for a listening experience that allows you to sit back enjoy the sonic challenges. Kicking off the experience, opener "Art of Almost" puts you off balance with a noise beats soup, lulls you into a comfortable groove and then knocks you to the floor with a fiery solo, invoking guitar gods past .The track "Dawned on Me" is pure sugary goodness with a sticky chorus with which you can sing along. "Standing O" is the Banana Splits after reading Louise Hay after a fist fight. Calm interludes such as "Black Moon" and "Open Mind: provide moments of reflection and final number "One Sunday Morning" is as quiet as the beginning was loud.
Lately Wilco's work has been more of a slow burn where I end up enjoying the recordings after a couple of spins. "The Whole Love" is Wilco's most accessible and "like at first listen" album since "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" with songs that challenge our assumptions of what can be played on FM radio. Having my two small children dance to songs like "I Might" and "Born Alone" exemplifies a Wilco connecting on more than just the intellectual level usually associated with the band. While we want to keep our brain happy with music that is not cookie cutter and we say is smart, deep down we need music we can bop our heads to and hum along. Smart and fun, Wilco's "The Whole Love"