CD Review: Wilco

Sky Blue Sky Nonesuch
Music ••• Sound •••
Having pioneered roots rock with Uncle Tupelo and defied Warner Bros. with his newer band, Jeff Tweedy is no stranger to limb-dwelling. That perch may be admirable in theory, but in practice the result is that Wilco has been wildly inconsistent - CD to CD, even song to song. And that's the case for its sonically and stylistically varied but compositionally wobbly latest album. Maybe Tweedy wants to reward listeners who slog through his ponderous ("Impossible Germany"), often self-pitying ("Please Be Patient with Me") playlets by putting Wilco's best face backwards: The finest tracks here (the anthemic "White Light," the heartrending "On and On and On") come at the very end. Sharing one's art shouldn't be this hard, though. For either side.

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