Wilco Wilco (The Album)

Wilco Wilco (The Album)
Though not as jammy as its predecessor, Sky Blue Sky, Wilco's cheekily self-titled new record finds the Chicago group continuing to blur the line between studio and stage, with tight players letting great new songs hang loose. The tone is set by "Wilco (The Song)," as Jeff Tweedy forsakes sharp wit for a slyly heartfelt assurance ("Wilco will love you, baby") to hard done by listeners. From there, it's a swell ride through the many moods of a band going for pop craftsmanship like never before. The heavy Beatles influence swimming through recent fare resurfaces in the soaring "You Never Know," which features Nels Cline approximating some spazzy version of George Harrison-style slide guitar work. The much discussed "You and I" finds Feist complementing Tweedy perfectly and "I'll Fight" is darkly endearing. Deceptively simple, Wilco (The Album) purposefully freshens up the repertoire of one of the world's best live rock'n'roll bands. (Nonesuch)