Album: The Whole Love
It can be immediately stated that a Wilco album has not opened this strongly in some time. “Art of Almost” burns slowly and then furiously erupts. It’s captivating stuff that recalls similar songs such as “Sunken Treasure” and “Misunderstood,” both from their sophomore album, Being There. It’s a change in the song that comes as an expertly orchestrated surprise. With that out of the way, the rest of the album is fairly typical Wilco. Not a bad thing, by any means, but don’t expect anymore surprises. Even in the twelve-minute closer, “One Sunday Morning,” there are few stand-out moments. There are great songs on his album that are destined to become classics, such as “I Might,” “Borne Alone,” “Black Moon,” and the title track. One could argue that this album is ‘Wilco by the numbers,” and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.
I originally set out to write a different, more directly-glowing review. There is enough momentum and creativity on display here, especially in Nels Cline’s delightful lead guitar work. This is a much stronger outing than 2009’s self-titled, and for that I am thankful, but I leave The Whole Love restless for something more.