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Rock - Released April 16, 2002 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Few bands can call themselves contemporaries of both the heartbreakingly earnest self-destruction of Whiskeytown and the alienating experimentation of Radiohead's post-millennial releases, but on the painstaking Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco seem to have done just that. In early 2001, the Chicago-area band focused on recording their fourth album, which ultimately led to the departure of guitarist Jay Bennett and tensions with their record label. Unwilling to change the album to make it more commercially viable, the band bought the finished studio tapes from Warner/Reprise for 50,000 dollars and left the label altogether. The turmoil surrounding the recording and distribution of the album in no way diminishes the sheer quality of the genre-spanning pop songs written by frontman Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates. After throwing off the limiting shackles of the alt-country tag that they had been saddled with through their 1996 double album Being There, Wilco experimented heavily with the elaborate constructs surrounding their simple melodies on Summerteeth. The long-anticipated Yankee Hotel Foxtrot continues their genre-jumping and worthwhile experimentation. The sprawling, nonsensical "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" is as charmingly bleak as anything Tweedy has written to date, while the positively joyous "Heavy Metal Drummer" jangles through bright choruses and summery reminiscences. Similarly, "Kamera" dispels the opening track's gray with a warm acoustic guitar and mixer/multi-instrumentalist/"fifth Beatle" Jim O'Rourke's unusual production. The true high points of the album are when the songwriting is at its most introspective, as it is during the heartwrenching "Ashes of American Flags," which takes on an eerie poignancy in the wake of the attacks at the World Trade Center. "All my lies are always wishes," Tweedy sings, "I know I would die if I could come back new." As is the case with many great artists, the evolution of the band can push the music into places that many listeners (and record companies for that matter) may not be comfortable with, but, in the case of Wilco, their growth has steadily led them into more progressive territory. While their songs still maintain the loose intimacy that was apparent on their debut A.M., the music has matured to reveal a complexity that is rare in pop music, yet showcased perfectly on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. ~ Zac Johnson
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Rock - Released July 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released April 16, 2002 | Nonesuch

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released September 19, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released March 28, 1995 | Sire - Warner Bros.

Uncle Tupelo played their final show on May 1, 1994, and little more than a month later, the band's final lineup, minus co-founder Jay Farrar, was cutting an album under the name Wilco. The group's transition happened so quickly that frontman Jeff Tweedy hadn't even found a new lead guitarist when they set up in the studio -- Brian Henneman from the Bottle Rockets was drafted to play on the band's first sessions. Given all this, it should come as no surprise that Wilco's debut LP, 1995's A.M., is by far the one with the closest resemblance to Uncle Tupelo. The attack sounds more than a bit like the twangy roar of UT's final album, 1993's Anodyne, albeit with a brighter and better detailed mix, and many of the songs recall the melodic style of Tweedy's contributions to the former incarnation of the band. And Henneman's soloing serves a similar function to Jay Farrar's Neil Young-inspired leads in Uncle Tupelo, even if Henneman's playing has a leaner personality of its own. But stripped of the dour tone Farrar brought to the band and the occasionally strained seriousness of his outlook, A.M. sounds like this band is having a blast in a way they never had before. It's all but impossible to imagine Uncle Tupelo kicking up their heels with numbers like "I Must Be High," "Casino Queen," or "Box Full of Letters," and the interplay between the musicians -- Henneman on guitar, Tweedy on vocals and guitar, John Stirratt on bass, Ken Coomer on drums, and Max Johnson on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and Dobro -- feels playful and easygoing, even on sorrowful tunes like "I Thought I Held You" and "Should've Been in Love." And while Tweedy was still finding a more individual voice as a songwriter, "Dash 7" and "Too Far Apart" contain echoes of the sort of music Wilco would be making a few years later. A.M. beat Trace, the first album from Jay Farrar's Son Volt, into record shops by six months, but in the minds of many alt-country fans, Tweedy's album was the weaker effort. However, viewed in the context of Wilco's catalog more than 20 years on, A.M. sounds like the point where Jeff Tweedy and his collaborators let go of Uncle Tupelo and took a bold, smart step into their future. ~ Mark Deming

R&B - Released July 20, 2010 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 19, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released September 9, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 7, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 15, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released August 25, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released August 18, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released August 11, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released August 4, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 28, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 21, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released July 14, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Rock - Released August 29, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2017 | Normaltown Records

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Jeff Tweedy in the magazine
  • Perfect Balance
    Perfect Balance The themes of death, depression and time’s wear and tear don’t typically attract the masses, even if the label does say Warm. However, Jeff Tweedy is the man you’d want consoling you if you’ve got ...
  • Wilco's welcome return
    Wilco's welcome return The first two albums from Jeff Tweedy's band come back in remastered versions...