Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
One of the most talked-about records of the past year, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was rumored to be crackpot pop — Radiohead's Kid A dressed in flannel and cow pie. And there is genuine bedlam here. Creepy pianos and whooping synthesizers zoom in and out of the music like pissed-off ghosts. The close-miked vocals of songwriter-guitarist Jeff Tweedy have a strong edge-of-madness air.
But the sum of those parts — mixed by Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Stereolab) — is really an earthy, moving psychedelia, eleven iridescent-country songs about surviving a blown mind and a broken heart. In Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, keyboard-guitar player Leroy Bach and drummer Glenn Kotche actually bring you the enchanting sound of things falling apart — and gingerly, doggedly coming together again. This is an honest, vivid chaos, and it tells a good story.
Make no mistake: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a rock & roll record. The rolling beat and gleaming steel guitar of "Pot Kettle Black" should reassure A.M.-era Wilco fans that the band is building on its original strengths, not turning from them. Review by David FrickeWilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Earthy, moving psychedelia
Eleven iridescent-country songs about surviving a blown mind and a broken heart