New Wilco Album

I’m listening to the stream of Wilco’s new album “Blue Sky Blue.” The album will be released May 15, but they are streaming the whole album for a 12 hour period today. I would have written about this earlier, but didn’t find out about until yesterday. You still have a few hours to listen if you are on the East Coast.

On first listen, “Sky Blue Sky” is much more accessible than “A Ghost Is Born”, but doesn’t have quite the impact of “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”–then again, few records do. “Shake it Off” is a nice little rocker of a song that starts slow and light but builds into a solid beat and fun guitar work. “Sky Blue Sky” is laid back, somber with out being sullen and speaks of a dying town and how survival “is good enough for now.” Overall, this a a very chill album, relaxed and even simple. Wilco and Tweedy don’t seem like they have anything to prove on this album – and while that may disappoint some fans who want every Wilco album to match the haunting lyricism and orchestration of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco seems content to write for the present instead of being stuck in the past.

Definitely on the list upcoming cd purchases.

In related news, Son Volt just released their new album, “The Search”. It seems that there is a deluxe version only available on iTunes that includes 8 extra tracks. Now, usually, I don’t buy music from iTunes–in part because of the DRM and in part because I prefer having the sound quality of the cd–but I’m tempted here to forego my usual stance and get the 22 tracks for only 16.99. I mean, it does seem that Son Volt (or at least their record company) want to encourage the iTunes sales. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It penalizes those of use who normally buy our media as artifacts.

Just listened to “The Picture” and “Circadian Rhythm” off of Son Volt’s website and have to say that I like what I hear. Jay Farrar’s vocals sometimes have a tendency to get lost in the music and here they seem to be supported by the music, given a focus that I think “Okemah And The Melody Of Riot” sometimes lost. Ok, I’m buying it now.

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