Every week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky, which will be released tomorrow.
- “The production is straightforward, but the song structures aren’t; that’s where Wilco’s idiosyncrasies still hide out. The tunes amble into instrumental interludes that stack riffs into steely patterns or let Wilco’s lead guitarist, Nels Cline, slice through the calm surfaces. Wilco’s new music is contemplative, stripping away past distractions, but it’s far from placid.” [NYT]
- “For a band who can credit a hefty part of their charm to always thinking they’re weirder than they actually are, stripping away the disconnect between Wilco’s earthy adult-alternative center and their more recent ambitious aspirations– whether they’re exploring Krautrock, breaking into a Sonic Youth freakout, or sabotaging a song’s structure– reveals a fairly traditional band that’s emerged from their “weird” phase a markedly less interesting group than they were before they entered it. Perhaps after giving the band-member carousel another spin, Tweedy merely ended up with the wrong personnel to articulate his mood here. If that’s the case– as long as his restless habits hold– we may only need to wait one more album for message and messenger to click back into alignment. [5.2]” [Pitchfork]
- “For my money, Wilco has done its greatest work when Tweedy has given voice to his darkest sentiments, as on ‘Summerteeth,’ or pondered the most frightening and unsettling aspects of these troubled times, as on the last two albums. And that’s a voice we need much more than fresh sheets or clean dishes. [Three stars]” [Chicago Sun-Times]