Tuesday 22 Jul

Chevy cruisin’

Chevy Woods with Kevin Gates & more
9 p.m. Sunday 
Vibe Night Club 
227 SW 25th St. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Rock steady

7 p.m. Saturday
Frontier City
11501 N. Interstate 35 Service Road 
Free with park admission 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Narrative verse

L.T.Z. with Jabee, Frank Black & more
8 p.m. Saturday
The Conservatory 
8911 N. Western Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Dancing in the Twilight

Sunday Twilight Concert Series with The Wurly Birds
7:30 p.m. Sunday
Myriad Botanical Gardens 
301 W. Reno Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Next big thing

As far as songs go, few prove as challenging to sing as our national anthem.

It’s a technically demanding tune from first note to last, to be sure, beginning with a low bellow that quickly soars toward star-punching high notes, eventually swelling to a show-stopping crescendo that even the most seasoned performer can have trouble mastering.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Indie · Wilco – The Whole Love

Wilco – The Whole Love

Wilco’s relevant again!

Matt Carney September 6th, 2011

As far as Wilco albums go, 1999’s “Summerteeth” and 2004’s “A Ghost Is Born,” are two of the band’s most beloved, but rarely by the same fans. The former, the group’s third full-length, is a joyful romp of Americana indie rock and pop, bubbling along on a turgid undercurrent of relational struggle, drug abuse and loneliness.


The latter eschews much of that melody for a grittier rock and prog sound, and a wider thematic range, lyrically. Linking the two is the band’s universally beloved and critically lauded 2002 opus, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” but, save for Jeff Tweedy’s most devout, wide-eyed followers, few find themselves with an equal appreciation for both albums.

It seems strange then that they’d synthesize the two with their eighth studio recording, “The Whole Love,” which sounds comprehensive and whole, despite boasting songs that could well belong with either record.

It’s also probably the happiest-sounding disc the band’s ever recorded, which is a sweet relief for Tweedy fans who feared the worst when he went to rehab in 2004 and suffered through his mother’s death, which much of the lyrics on 2007’s “Sky Blue Sky” concerns. Tweedy’s long been capable of singing sweetly (here, on the album’s title track and the sunshiney, “Summerteeth”-esque “Dawned on Me”), but it is remarkable and relieving to hear it for the majority of the record.

Watch Jeff Tweedy play a solo version of "Dawned on Me" for St. Louis Magazine.

Album opener “The Art of Almost” is one of those hypnotic, coda-driving Krautrock songs the act first toyed with on “A Ghost Is Born” — see: “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” and “Bull Black Nova” from “Wilco (The Album)” — and I think it’s the best such song they’ve ever put to track.

John Stirrat — with Tweedy, the lone remaining founding member — holds down a gnarled, thriving low end, while Nels Cline finally hits full stride recording with the rest of the band, now on his third album. Cline also contributes a terrific guitar melody to “Born Alone,” which nicely syncs up with Glenn Kotche’s cymbal-heavy drumbeat for another “Summerteeth” song.

Another standout, “Standing O,” is basically an Elvis Costello track, and just as much fun as anything he ever set a buzzing organ behind. With Tweedy’s always-nuanced vocals, this album’s only going to sound better with additional listens. —Matt Carney

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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