wilco – yankee hotel foxtrot

so this was a kind of cultural swap. i had been aware of wilco’s existence but had avoided them because they were well and truly major label, latest thing you had to love, classified as ‘alternative’ and worse, in capturing the music i did actually love according to the arbiters of music critique, alt country. all the things i actively avoided. but because i had insisted that my good friend give i see a darkness by bonnie ‘prince’ billy a go, it was only fair that i accepted something back. i think it’s pertinent that he’s almost ten years older than me. i’ve never been able to escape the adult contemporary sense i get in my mind with wilco.

this album starts like a rip-off of pavement – a level of nonsensical lyrical content conveying something a bit stronger if you can dig past the kitsch. or maybe it doesn’t actually mean anything in spite of references to a breaking/broken relationship. everything else about the album flowing from this seems predictable. and it ends with a whimper.

i’m fairly sure some people would argue with me about what was better, and who had the more important history, if compared to the bands that emerged more clearly from the early 1990s. the fact that wilco was preceded by uncle tupelo from the 1980s is probably the indicator that this band was marginally removed from my generation; therefore connection lost.

there’s always still a link – in my collection, it’s back via glenn kotche to jim o’rourke and fred lonberg-holm. but it seems that jeff tweedy was, again, a massive egotist and didn’t agree with the revolving members for various reasons. i feel no heart in it.

needless to say, i completely disagree with the perfect ten that pitchfork gave the album. this came out about three years after i had started reading the website. i mean, apparently no one is too good for this album; it is better than all of us and it would find its way into the collections of record store apparatchiks of the indiocracy (a great decade-old description for a hipster). i guess it made it into my collection, but i’ve never embraced it and never will.

i still don’t see it, even twelve years after its original creation.


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