Wilco’s Ode To Joy/Review

Wilco was formed in Chicago in 1994. After a year off including a 2 1/2 year hiatus from touring they are back!

Jeff Tweedy is a songwriter who can create limitless visions with few words. “You never change, I never change. Somehow we’re still bright leaves.”

Setting a somber yet glorious tone that never leaves you, Wilco’s 11th studio album is filled with magic and poetry.

Yearning to change in a reality that despite its limitations still provides life’s greatest joys.

Simple. Pure. Listen closely to this record. You may just feel better that there are more questions than answers.

The single, “Everyone Hides” is the closest thing to a pop hit in the Wilco soundscape. A reaffirming song about our all too human ability to sell ourselves short.

Fear of vulnerability stops us from becoming our most fully realized selves.

Mr. Tweedy continues to dig deep into the enigmatic nature of life; discovering a form of joy that is protective armour around that soft shell.

The set list:

  • “Bright Leaves” – 4:10
  • “Before Us” – 3:22
  • “One and a Half Stars” – 3:43
  • “Quiet Amplifier” – 5:50
  • “Everyone Hides” – 3:00
  • “White Wooden Cross” – 3:12
  • “Citizens” – 3:03
  • “We Were Lucky” – 4:57
  • “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)” – 3:34
  • “Hold Me Anyway” – 4:00
  • “An Empty Corner” – 3:46

“Before Us” is a song that reminds you that we live in a continuum. Even at life’s turning point we are in the middle of something. Achingly beautiful with words that ring true:

“Alone with the people who came before us…I’m high for the people who came before us.”

I remember when wars would end”. Do you remember when wars would end? Now, when something’s already dead we try to kill it again.”

Depression is explored in “One and a Half Stars”. A strong desire to change is thwarted by the inability to get out of a bed two stories high; a prisoner of a domain either imagined or realized.

An internal engine at low hum is running throughout the songs. “Quiet Amplifier” resounds with longing.

Honey, no train’s gonna come. I’ve waited my whole life. I’ve tried, in my own way, to love everyone.”

Eternal questions of existence are internalized on “White Wooded Cross”. How would you cope with a serious loss?

Is it stranger to live?”

“Is it stranger to die?”

“Citizens” lifts the veil of civic pride to reveal we are the very personification of ‘white lies’ of our own making. “High times. High crimes. Medals for you to salute.”

“We were Lucky” has layers of guitar that tingle and reflect upon a life filled with beautiful moments. The sounds build to a humble flourish. Love is complex.

“Love Is Everywhere (Beware)”, “Hold Me Anyway”, and “An Empty Corner” are beautifully reflective works on par with their early releases.

Despite the foreboding nature of love we are consistently reminded that the gains outweigh the risks of exposure.

Wilco: John Stirratt – bass guitar, backing vocals (1994–present)
Jeff Tweedy – lead vocals, rhythm, acoustic and lead guitars, bass guitar, harmonica (1994–present)
Glenn Kotche – drums, percussion (2001–present)
Mikael Jorgensen – samples and sound manipulation, keyboards, synthesizers, effects, piano, organ (2002–present)
Nels Cline – lead guitar, loops, lap steel (2004–present)
Pat Sansone – keyboards, rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals, synthesizers, maracas, tambourine (2004–present)

Wilco in concert December 15, 16, 18, 19 at The Chicago Theater .

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