Wilco - Star Wars

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Product No.:
AANT 87438
UPC: 045778743810
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180 Gram Vinyl Record

180 Gram LP  

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Wilco's ninth full-length release is a glorious paean to experimental sound

180-gram LP, plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings!

Album download included, offer subject to expiration

"Everything sounds fresh, new and different, but every song is still recognizably Wilco; it just sounds like Wilco at their best." — Drowned In Sound, July 2015

As headlines to wake up to go, there are few better than "Surprise free Wilco album." Produced by Jeff Tweedy and Tom Schick, Wilco's ninth release was a surprise free download on the Chicago band's website for a limited time. Here we have the 180-gram vinyl version, resplendent from its awesomely kitschy cat painting adorning the jacket to the 11 tracks that continue to push the sonic envelope with an unruly refusal to sit comfortably in one place for too long.

Wilco's adventuresome yet consistently tuneful music says that it's normal and sometimes glorious to misunderstand and be misunderstood. As they've kept chugging into middle age, this core artistic premise has often been obscured, writes The Atlantic, by the dismissive description "dad-rock," factually accurate though it may be (after all, Tweedy recently put out a record with his teenage son). Star Wars, the band's ninth album, released by surprise and initially for free on the Internet, reminds that Wilco aren't just reliable, safe rockers; they're some of the most generous experimentalists to ever pick up guitars.

A crackling 33-minute trip, the album has way more in common with ‘90s indie pranksters like Pavement than it does with the Americana scene that Wilco's long been associated with. While a few of these songs won't stick in listeners' heads for long, all of them feature a delightful sonic twist of some sort. You can tell what mood they're in within a second of turning on the opener "EKG," an instrumental whose migraine-frequency guitar stabs eventually lock onto a kraut groove that suggests liftoff into another world. In that world, we get a tune like "More...," which sounds a bit like Tom Petty's "Free Falling" except for the fact that its riffs pan between ears and the song drowns itself in distortion before the three-minute mark.

The most fully formed thing here is "Random Name Generator," which surges and struts as Tweedy riffs on the song title — his latest metaphor for the universe's insane incomprehensible beauty. "I change my name every once in a while," he sings with a touch of hair-rock hamminess, "A miracle every once in a while."

"There's precisely one track that sounds like the stereotype of a Wilco song — 'Taste the Ceiling,' featuring acoustic strum, some soloing, and a tempo suited for lo-fi rom-com montages. It's fine. Far more wonderful is the closer, 'Magnetized,' which uses soft organ pulses and a theremin to portray love as something that warps a person as surely as an electromagnet warps a TV set. Another would-be ballad, 'Where Do I Begin,' interrupts its lullaby for a punk-psychedelic eruption in its final seconds. I wish the band had rode that noise wave longer, maybe adding a soaring chorus on top of it. But doing so might have defeated the point of the album — ambitions low, surprise factor high." — The Atlantic, July 2015


Side 1
1. EKG
2. More…
3. Random Name Generator
4. The Joke Explained
5. You Satellite

Side 2
6. Taste the Ceiling
7. Pickled Ginger
8. Where Do I Begin
9. Cold Slope
10. King of you
11. Magnetized

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