•  

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Wilco’s tenth album wins over new and old listeners

Wilco

"Schmilco"

On Sept. 9, Wilco released its highly anticipated 10th album, “Schmilco” — its most personal and nostalgic one yet. After the massive success of the group’s previous album, “Star Wars,” which was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the Grammy’s in 2016, “Schmilco” has a great deal to live up to. Since the band has been around for so long, listeners have an expectation of greatness. With “Schmilco,” they won’t be disappointed.

This album exemplifies a complete return to the band’s traditional form as they it comes back to their its folk roots. “Star Wars” was more of an psych-indie rock album, while this album is shaped with softer midwestern tones. Tracks like “Common Sense” invoke a hypnotic beat and sense of confusion, while others, like “Nope,” have a more cool and collected rock tone. In the opening track, “Normal American Kids”, listeners hear Jeff Tweedy’s haunting voice say, “I had to get away from those normal American kids / I always hated those normal American kids.”  

“Schmilco” brings listeners back to Wilco’s Chicago roots, where listeners feel a sense of retentive nostalgia. Wilco transports listeners to the days of the misfits and brings them back into the spotlight. This album is a tribute to all the misfits and the childhood rebels. Tweedy begins by singing about his childhood of being a misfit and later reflects on life as an adult — discussing addiction, loss of a loved one, politics and more.

Wilco has impressed many with its previous nine albums and “Schmilco” is no failure.The album’s name is a tribute to Harry Nilsson’s “Nilsson Schmilssion,” a similar rock album from 1971. Wilco’s success is prevalent with how long they’ve it’s stayed relevant in a world full of one-hit wonders. Wilco has matured with this album and has created a simple, yet eloquent, album even for new fans.

Colin Barrett can be reached at cbarrett@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @colinb333555