Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Wilco Album Review: Star Wars

Earlier this evening Wilco released a new album entitled Star Wars, available for streaming on their website, their first batch of new songs since The Whole Love in 2011.

Composed of 11 tracks with a total running time of 33 minutes, Star Wars is heavy on pop hooks and sound collage.  As with many Wilco albums you are in 1978 one minute, then a jump ahead to 1989, and then you zoom back to 1972, only to rematerialize in 2001.

I hear some David Bowie on "You Satellite"; "Cold Slope" sounds a bit like Bowie's "Fame" (released almost 40 years ago to the day). And even some John Lennon on "Magnetized."

Jeff Tweedy sounds more like his old self on Star Wars, in contrast to the somber solo album he made last year. The lyrical word play from A Ghost is Born and sound experimentation from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are both back.

Wilco also beat someone to the punch with the album's title, surely some rock band in 2015 would title their album Star Wars, with the film series returning to the cultural conversation (maybe the 70s did survive?). 

With a mid-summer release, Wilco's set of ornately produced tunes will help fight back the inevitable summertime malaise.