Wilco / Schmilco
Label Dbpm Records
Mostly acoustic, melodic and eschewing the in-your-face idiosychracies (like a quarter hour of dialtone) of past albums for more embedded dissonance and oddity. This is a Jeff Tweedy singer-songwriter album, backed up by the superb musicianship of Wilco. It's been getting mediocre reviews, but I actually like this record a great deal more than the last effort, Star Wars. Great songs.
Favorites: 1, 2, 8, 9, 11
"Normal American Kids" ***** 2:47 - Personal favorite. Nice little quiet acoustic strumming riff with a little electric lead over the top of it on growing up different and feeling contempt for 'normal.' If Nick Drake had been an angrier sort of person. Play this alot.
"If I Ever Was a Child" **** 2:55 - One of the singles from the album. Upbeat, with that killer little No Depression brush snare rhythm. Classic Wilco. Great for radio play. Also another one to play alot.
"Cry All Day" **** 4:16 soft 30 second fade in to a freight train rhythm building urgency throughout the tune. Good tune that fits right into the Wilco canon.
"Common Sense" ** 3:24 - The obligatory 'weird' tune on the album. Mid tempo, soft, but off rhythm, off key, off everything. A little crescendo at the end with Glockenspiel. Perfect for A Strange Pursuit.
"Nope" *** 3:02 - Nice foot-stomping beat and wry lyrics ("Why kill a man when you can make him crazy").
"Someone to Lose" *** 3:20 - Starts off upbeat, bouncy, acoustic, electric guitars flourish at 1:00 and thereafter.
"Happiness" *** 3:00 Slow, steady and chopping acoustic guitar with a guitar slap and tambourine rhythm. Keyboard bells and soft chorus voices belie the wry lyrics. "Happiness depends on who you blame..."
"Quarters" ***** 2:50 - Sweet & Salty meditation on sweeping up Grandpa's dive bar for quarters. Brief and soft greatness. Fades to a soft acoustic guitar reprise at 1:50 until the end.
"Locator" **** 2:18 - Excellent. Military march snare-based rhythm and wonky slide bassline riff define this tune. Nice little Memphis "Grifter's-style" slide guitar solo. Brief but cool.
"Shrug and Destroy" **** 2:52 Tweedy channeling Elliott Smith a little on a melancholy little waltz.
"We Aren't the World (Safety Girl)" ***** 2:53 - Upbeat, snarky take on a world defined by helicopter parents and complaining on social media? Nice shuffling beat.
"Just Say Goodbye" **** 2:45 - Bass riff defines the intro with it's snare shuffle rhythm at the beginning. Just another great mid-tempo alt-country pleaser whisper sung by Mr. Tweedy to close out another great piece of work.