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Rock - Released December 1, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Best New Reissue
After a magical first work of fairly rough alternative country (A.M.) that was conceived at the time of the turbulent separation of his group Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy took his time to release a second album with Wilco. Already, the work was ambitious as it was a double album. Blending all their musical similarities, this was an album that from the moment it was released in October 1996 led quite a few journalists to write that Tweedy had signed his own Exile On Main Street. Much like the Rolling Stones’ masterpiece, eclecticism is the crucial ingredient to this mix of basic rock’n’roll, bluegrass, country rock, psychedelia, folk and soul. With loose guitars, pedal steel, brass and unlimited instrumentals, Wilco weaves here an impressive web between the Rolling Stones from their golden age, The Replacements, The Beatles and Big Star from the album Third. Alternating between ballads and electronic soundstorms, Tweedy demonstrates above all else that with a timeless and classical base, he is taking the lead with his grandiose songs and the stunning architecture of his compositions… This remastered Deluxe Edition offers, as well as the original album, fifteen unpublished bonus tracks notably including alternative versions of I Got You and Say You Miss Me alongside a live recording from 12th November 1996 in Troubadour, Los Angeles and a session for the radio station Santa Monica KCRW taken the next day. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 2011 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 2011 | Anti - Epitaph

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - 3 étoiles Technikart
With 2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco finally shed the "that guy from Uncle Tupelo" baggage that had kept them from gaining the respect they clearly deserved, and Jeff Tweedy gained the confidence to follow his muse in previously unfamiliar directions with increasingly rewarding results. But with so much space now open to Tweedy and his collaborators, Wilco's post-YHF studio work, while often brilliant, didn't seem quite as cohesive as Being There or Summerteeth, albums that were eclectic but revealed a unified core the newer albums somehow lacked. Part of this can be chalked up to frequent lineup changes, and the group seemed to be shaking this dilemma on Wilco (The Album), the second studio set from the band's strongest lineup to date, and with The Whole Love, they've finally made another album that pays off with the strength, consistency, and coherence of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Like YHF, The Whole Love is the work of a band that's stylistically up for anything, from the edgy dissonance of "The Art of Almost" and the moody contemplation of "Black Moon," to the ragged but spirited pop of "I Might" and the cocky rock & roll strut of "Standing O," but more so than anything the band has done since Being There, The Whole Love sounds like Wilco are having fun with their musical shape shifting. Even somber numbers like "Rising Red Lung" have a heart and soul that's warm and compelling, and these musicians consistently hit their targets both as individuals and as an ensemble; Mikael Jorgensen's keyboards bring a playful whimsy to songs that could sometimes use it, the guitar interplay between Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone never stops bubbling with great ideas, and bassist John Stirratt and drummer Glenn Kotche hold down the rhythm with equal parts of imagination and precision. With The Whole Love, Wilco have made an album where the whole is as strong as the individual parts: the musicians play off one another with the intuition and understanding that separates a real band rather than folks who simply work together, and the songs cohere into a whole that's rich, intelligent, and often genuinely moving. Quite simply, this is the work of a great band at the peak of their powers, and The Whole Love is a joy to hear, revealing more with each listen and confirming once again that Wilco is as good a band as America can claim in the 21st century. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 2011 | Anti - Epitaph

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Rock and Folk
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Rock - Released March 8, 1999 | Nonesuch

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released April 16, 2002 | Nonesuch

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released September 9, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Wilco's 11th album, 2015's Star Wars, was a playful and angular set of noisy pop and pop-friendly noise, and it seemed fitting that it literally appeared out of nowhere, with the band sending it out as a free download without any advance warning one July afternoon. Little more than a year later, Wilco has released a follow-up, Schmilco, and in many respects this album is the flip side to Star Wars. Schmilco feels every bit as spontaneous as Star Wars (and much of the material was recorded during the same sessions), but where the earlier album seemed full of the joy of making music, this one is somber and low-key, a set of navel-gazing music even as the tunes confirm that Jeff Tweedy's way with a melody hasn't failed him. Acoustic guitars dominate most of Schmilco's 12 songs, with Tweedy's vocals right up front, sounding introspective and emphatic at once. On first listen, Schmilco plays like the work of one man and his guitar alone with his thoughts and his sorrows late one night. It takes a couple of spins for the contributions of the rest of the band to really sink in, but once they do, it becomes apparent this truly is a Wilco album, as Nels Cline's guitars, Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen's keyboards, and Glenn Kotche's drums bring a rich spectrum of dynamics and texture to the songs, while John Stirratt's bass anchors these songs both melodically and rhythmically. Just as 1999's Summerteeth sounded like a smart pop album when observed casually but was an emotional horror show beneath the surface, Schmilco feels simple and declarative on first glance, but the deeper one is willing to dig, the more there is to find, both in terms of the band's interplay (which gets better and more intuitive with each album) and Tweedy's songs (which boast as much compassion and concern as brooding). Star Wars was Wilco's cheerfully bent version of a summer album; Schmilco is clearly music for autumn, meant for cool nights, crunching through the leaves, and the occasional dark night of the soul. And it speaks volumes about Wilco that they could make two albums so different within such a short space of time, and both times giving us music that sounds like no one else. ~ Mark Deming
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Rock - Released July 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released July 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released December 1, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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At the beginning of the ‘80s, Green On Red (a group that emerged out of the Paisley Underground scene) rehabilitated the most rebellious country music. A few years later, other American indie rock groups enjoyed reviving the flame of this plague-stricken genre. Filtered over time and with a lo-fi aesthetic, this alternative country mixes the heritage of Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Neil Young, the Byrds from their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo period and the Rolling Stones from Exile On Main Street. Led by Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, Uncle Tupelo affirm themselves as one of the most gifted representatives of the genre. But the duo split, with Farrar leaving to found Son Volt and Tweedy heading off down the Wilco path. With A.M., the first shining album from his new combo which appeared in 1995, the songwriter from Illinois confirmed his talent in the art of fusing all his roots influences from the past by giving them a sound that’s considerably rougher and more contemporary. Above all, Jeff Tweedy writes with a pen made of hardened steel. It follows that compositions such as I Must Be High, Casino Queen, Box Full Of Letters and Passenger Side are quick to forget their heavy influences (Stones, Parsons, Young…) and underline the talent of the gentleman. As well as the original album, this remastered Deluxe Edition offers eight bonus unpublished tracks such as first versions of Outtasite (Outta Mind) and When You Find Trouble, in fact being the last studio recording for Uncle Tupelo. © MZ/Qobuz
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Rock - Released July 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released November 17, 2014 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released December 1, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

After a magical first work of fairly rough alternative country (A.M.) that was conceived at the time of the turbulent separation of his group Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy took his time to release a second album with Wilco. Already, the work was ambitious as it was a double album. Blending all their musical similarities, this was an album that from the moment it was released in October 1996 led quite a few journalists to write that Tweedy had signed his own Exile On Main Street. Much like the Rolling Stones’ masterpiece, eclecticism is the crucial ingredient to this mix of basic rock’n’roll, bluegrass, country rock, psychedelia, folk and soul. With loose guitars, pedal steel, brass and unlimited instrumentals, Wilco weaves here an impressive web between the Rolling Stones from their golden age, The Replacements, The Beatles and Big Star from the album Third. Alternating between ballads and electronic soundstorms, Tweedy demonstrates above all else that with a timeless and classical base, he is taking the lead with his grandiose songs and the stunning architecture of his compositions… This remastered Deluxe Edition offers, as well as the original album, fifteen unpublished bonus tracks notably including alternative versions of I Got You and Say You Miss Me alongside a live recording from 12th November 1996 in Troubadour, Los Angeles and a session for the radio station Santa Monica KCRW taken the next day. © MZ/Qobuz
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Rock - Released December 1, 2014 | Nonesuch

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In the book that accompanies Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, a four-disc collection of rare and non-LP recordings by Wilco, former Reprise Records publicist Bill Bentley admits that no less a legend than Doug Sahm thought he was making a mistake when, after Uncle Tupelo abruptly and acrimoniously broke up, Bentley opted to work with Jeff Tweedy's new band rather than Son Volt, Jar Farrar's post-UT project. "Come on, Bentley, you gotta go with the other guy," Sahm said, "he's gonna happen." Which was certainly the conventional wisdom when Wilco and Son Volt launched in 1994 -- most fans seemed certain that Farrar was going to go on to a brilliant career on his own, and Tweedy's band would be a fine but lesser commodity. But those bets were off after Wilco released their ambitious, game-changing second album, Being There, in 1996, and in the years that followed, it became clear that Tweedy was a stronger songwriter, a more imaginative sonic visionary, and a keener judge of collaborators than he'd had the chance to show in Uncle Tupelo. Two decades on from their debut, Wilco have created a large and impressively diverse body of work, and Alpha Mike Foxtrot is a massive odds-and-sods collection, bringing together 77 tracks from singles, promo releases, movie soundtracks, bonus discs, and downloads from Wilco's website. Alpha Mike Foxtrot plays like an alternate history of Wilco, and most of what's here is every bit as satisfying as what the band delivered on its first eight studio albums, if more idiosyncratic; it traces the evolution of the band from early solo cassette demos Tweedy cut in his living room to extended workouts from the lineup that solidified after the release of A Ghost Is Born, as Wilco grew from a spirited alt-country combo to a rock band as adventurous and eager to innovate as it was engaging and tuneful (Tweedy's simple but powerful way with a melody is the surest unifying factor that holds these songs together). And the plentiful live tracks here demonstrate how willing Tweedy and his bandmates have been to give their songs new shapes on-stage (a ten-minute live recording of "Spiders [Kidsmoke]" is a tremendous showcase for Nels Cline's stellar guitar work), and there's a fistful of studio tracks that didn't fit on an album but sound splendid in this context, especially the Replacements-styled "Student Loan Stereo," the soulful "The Thanks I Get," and the faux-live pop/rocker "The Good Part." In the strictest sense, nothing on Alpha Mike Foxtrot is unreleased, but there's a lot here that's never been available for general public consumption, and while the sheer bulk of this set means it's most likely to be heard by hardcore fans, anyone with a genuine interest in Wilco will find a lot of great music that fell between the cracks on this set, as well as a fascinating map of the many roads Wilco did and didn't take. ~ Mark Deming
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Rock - Released June 21, 2004 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released November 17, 2014 | Nonesuch

Booklet
Wilco are a band who have shown that in the 21st century, a band can succeed creatively and commercially on their own terms, even without what would be considered a hit single, especially impressive since Wilco often seemed to be doing well despite their presence on a major-label rather than because of it. Which is why What's Your 20? Essential Tracks 1994-2014 is at once a welcome and curious release: it's essentially a greatest-hits album from a band that's never had a hit single, collecting 38 songs that have made some impression on non-commercial radio and become fan favorites during the band's first two decades. At the same time, What's Your 20? is also a fine "Beginner's Guide to Wilco," as the track listing gracefully charts their progress from a scrappy but heartfelt alt-country band that rose from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo to a thoughtful and imaginative pop/rock band with some outstanding players and an eagerness to experiment. What's Your 20? includes representative selections from Wilco's eight studio albums, as well as the two Mermaid Avenue albums they cut in collaboration with Billy Bragg and, along with a bunch of great songs, it offers a map to the emotional peaks and valleys of Jeff Tweedy's songwriting, from the country-influenced rock of "I Must Be High" and "Casino Queen," into the bold explorations of "Misunderstood" and "Sunken Treasure," and the cool, pitiless self-analysis of "A Shot in the Arm" and "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," a remarkable musical journey that took less than seven years. The album also offers a satisfying summary of the band's best and most stable lineup that coalesced after A Ghost Is Born, and delivered warmer but genuinely exciting songs like "Hate It Here," "Impossible Germany," and "I Might." What's Your 20? was released at the same time as Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, a four-disc box set for serious fans featuring outstanding Wilco tracks that didn't appear on one of their albums; this album is the opposite, a more concise (but still hefty) sampling of the band's best known and most accepted work, and this is most easily recommended to casual fans and folks looking for an introduction to the group's music. However, those listeners will certainly be well-served by this outstanding selection of tunes, and if we did live in a world where Wilco regularly scaled the charts, there's little doubt these songs would have earned the band plenty of gold and platinum plaques. And who knows, they may yet some day. ~ Mark Deming
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Rock - Released November 15, 2005 | Nonesuch

While Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born established Wilco's reputation as one of America's most interesting and imaginative rock bands, both albums were the product of a band in flux, and this was particularly evident to those who saw the group on-stage after the release of YHF. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot may have blazed new sonic trails for Wilco, but the departure of Jay Bennett in the latter stages of its production left the band with an audible hole when they played the new material on-stage, and while multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach may have been a technically skilled player, he looked and sounded like a cold fish in concert, unwittingly emphasizing the cooler surfaces of Wilco's new music and negating much of the passion of Jeff Tweedy's songs. However, by the time Wilco hit the road following the release of A Ghost Is Born, the group's latest round of personnel shakeups had the unexpected but welcome effect of spawning one of the group's best lineups to date; after Bach amicably left Wilco, the addition of keyboard and guitar man Pat Sansone and especially visionary guitarist Nels Cline gave the band players whose energy and passion matched their technical skill, and suddenly the band was playing its challenging new material with the same sweaty force Tweedy and company conjured up in the band's earlier days. Thankfully, Tweedy had the good sense to document the prowess of Wilco's latest incarnation on-stage, and Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, recorded during four shows at the Windy City's Vic Theater, offers a welcome second perspective on the band's more recent work. With the exception of two numbers from Wilco's collaborative albums with Billy Bragg (in which they set Woody Guthrie's poems to music), Kicking Television focuses exclusively on their "post-alt-country" work, but while many of the songs featured here sounded cool and mannered in the studio, here they gain new muscle and force, not to mention a great deal of enthusiasm, and while tunes like "Ashes of American Flags" and "Handshake Drugs" are never going to be crowd-pleasers in the manner of "Casino Queen," the élan of this band in full flight shows that the fun has been put back in Wilco, albeit in a different and more angular form. Nels Cline's guitar is especially bracing in this context, and his marriage of melodic weight and joyous dissonance fits these songs while expanding on their strengths at the same time. And the title cut thankfully proves that Wilco still can (and still does) rock on out. Kicking Television is the best sort of live album -- a recording that doesn't merely retread a band's back catalog, but puts their songs in a new perspective, and in this case these performances reveal that one great band has actually been getting better. ~ Mark Deming
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Rock - Released August 21, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Wilco in the magazine