Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Even as The Whole Love lands as another stunning example of Wilco's significance in contemporary pop music, it also serves as the culmination of a ten-year arc that has invariably been coupled with the notion of "challenging" one thing or another. The band's 21st century was marred/heightened early on by a David-vs-Goliath battle with Warner about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which the label saw no commercial potential for, even as the record grew into one of the most accomplished, inventive, and emulated albums in rock. Wilco won that public battle even as some in their fan base grumbled about their newest songs, which tended more towards lyrical abstraction, squalls of noise, and virtuoso, prog-y musicianship, as opposed to the "alt-country" scene Jeff Tweedy was spawned from. So, in summary everyone, at some point, seems to believe that Wilco is working against them, even though the band itself is rather populist and giving in nature. Their primary shield against haters has been an unwavering belief in itself and that it's okay to evolve with every passing year ― something that Tweedy in particular has a deep investment in. "I've never been that big of a Paul Simon fan, but there are things about his new record that I've found really inspiring and really hopeful for somebody that's not particularly young anymore, like myself, and somebody still working hard at challenging himself and still giving a shit," Tweedy told Exclaim! in September. "I just wanna see people that still give a shit. To be honest, I wanna see young bands that give a shit! That's the part that's really more disturbing than an older guy not giving a shit any more, but I see a lot of bands and I'm like, 'Really? How am I supposed to care if you don't care,' y'know? I don't get it." Challenge! The words come from a reformed punk rock enthusiast who figured out that you actually should learn how to play your instrument and hone your craft. For his part, Tweedy has many gifts as a songwriter, chief among them is a knack for infectious hooks, verses, choruses, and an ability to infuse sweet sounds with a gritty edge. As such, The Whole Love is the most nuanced Wilco album yet, subtly adopting punk free-form with new wave vigour and the sensitivity of seasoned folk, blending together and coming the closest in line to the daring of the Beatles without shamelessly mimicking them or anyone else.
NewsJun 30, 2015
Canada Day Playlist: Artists Pick Their Favourite Canadian Albums of All Time
This week, we'll all celebrate the 148th birthday of Canada with Canada Day fireworks, barbecues and other traditional activities. No Canada...
StreamsJun 29, 2015
Jacco Gardner"Face to Face" on Exclaim! TV
Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner is called the "psych-pop prince" for a reason. His recent sophomore album, Hypnophobia, is a sonic...
StreamsJun 25, 2015
Gianna Lauren"Ghosts" on Exclaim! TV
Over the years, Halifax-based songwriter Gianna Lauren has been crafted her own version of folk pop music, which uses her soft voice to coat...
NewsJun 22, 2015
Bully Go Old School for 'Feels Like'
Bully are one of the newer rock bands out there that sound like dusted-off remnants from 20 years ago. But unlike those other bands, Bully's...
NewsJun 18, 2015
Sarah Goodman, Laura Barrett and José Miguel Contreras Discuss 'Porch Stories'
Sarah Goodman's Porch Stories — a film festival favourite that's having its theatrical release this Friday (June 19) at TIFF Bell Ligh...
NewsJun 17, 2015
Yukon Blonde Discuss the Synth-Laden Sounds of 'On Blonde'
Since their self-titled full-length's debut in the winter of 2010, Kelowna, BC-bred indie rock outfit Yukon Blonde have rarely had a moment ...
FeaturesJun 12, 2015
ROLEMODEL"Teen Idol" on Exclaim! TV
ROLEMODEL bring '80s new wave music into the 21st century by mixing electronic and shoegaze elements with flair. Initially Jordan Allen's so...
NewsJun 11, 2015
Hawksley Workman Embraces the Gear of Yesteryear for 'Old Cheetah'
Icy winds wailed outside of Hawksley Workman's home studio, Burk's Falls, as he wrote and recorded his newly released album, Old Cheetah, ea...