NPR is streaming the new Wilco album, The Whole Love this week.
On one hand, The Whole Love is Wilco’s most adventurous record in a decade. The band is back to playing with polyrhythms and structure, often abandoning typical verse-and-chorus lines for less linear and more surprising songs. But they also include cuts that would fit comfortably on some of the band’s earliest records. The Whole Love‘s seven-minute opener, “Art of Almost,” is an epic, sprawling, magnificently disjointed song full of strange textures and unexpected twists. But it’s followed by “I Might,” a candy-flavored pop song like something from 1999’s Summerteeth. In “Dawned on Me,” dark, thrashing guitars clash with delicate vocals and a lovely, hopeful melody. “Born Alone” is one of the catchiest songs Wilco has ever produced, while “Capitol City” has an almost goofy shuffle like something from an early Randy Newman record — not that there’s anything wrong with that. The Whole Love closes with “One Sunday Morning,” a moving 12-minute meditation on growing old and battling inner demons, the strained relationship between a father and son, and the weight of bitter regret.
Sounds good. Probably listen to it tonight.