Sunday, January 20, 2008

Last years best albums countdown

# 4. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)

Jeff Tweedy reinvents Wilco yet again. This time it sounds like Tweedy and his group of extraordinary gentlemen have been listening to early seventies westcoast softrock like Steely Dan and Joe Walsh. It sounds great. Wilco sounds like a real band again. Gone are the experimental layers of noise over Tweedy's fantastic folksongs. The songs just speak for them selves this time. It's a group effort. This may be the ultimate Wilco line-up, the same lineup as the one on 2006's live album. Guitar-God Nels Cline brings an extra dimension of a loose jam-based live sound to the band. The sound is playful and fresh.

When the comes to the lyrics of Sky Blue Sky it seems that Tweedy is more open about what goes on in his life than he has been on the last couple of albums. Like ".. I should warn you when I’m not well I can’t tell. Oh, there’s nothing I can do to make this easier for you. You’re gonna need to be patient with me" from "Please Be Patient With Me". A song that with sparse instrumentation and the closeness of Tweedy's voice sounds like he's in the room with you singing it. From the lyrics you understand that he's singing it to someone close, like his wife or something. But you could, as a fan listening, interpret the meaning that he is singing this to you to try to explain some of the moodswings he is known to have on and off stage. That said I think most of the lyrics on the album are about Tweedy himself and his life with his wife. You can see traces of it everywhere. And I think that's great, it gives the album a personal touch without forcing it on the listener. It makes me feel good, it sounds like it's written by a man who lives a happy life, and that rubs off on me as a listener.

My favourite song on the album is "Impossible Germany" which builds up to this epic double guitar duell between Tweedy and Cline towards the closure of the song. It sounds like they could go on forever. It reminds me somewhat of the soloing on the end of "Hotel California". It just simply rocks. Other favourites are the folky "What Light" which have a Guthrie/Dylan/Byrds-y feeling to it. "You Are My Face" is also a beautiful classic Wilco track.

Sky Blue Sky is a classic rock album, one that will stand the test of time.

3 comments:

Tone said...

Kom igjen, topp tre!

Stian said...

kommer, det kommer, prøver å unnskylde tregheten med det harde arbeidslivet..

shmoo said...

ellu stian! jeg liker din blogg. skal være dj på mono 24 feb. (nach for by:larm) og siden du veit om ufattelig bra "gammelrock"; har du noen nydeligebra låter som kunne vært digg å spille?