This is less of a review and more of a whimpering rant. You've been warned.
The cover (shown above) might be my favorite thing about Wilco's new album The Whole Love. After a few days of listening to the album, taking a break, and listening to it again, I'm ready to declare it a disastrous disappointment. It's been a year of disappointing albums from my favorite bands (read this) and my frustration has turned into fatigue. I'm tired of getting excited about an upcoming album, tired of eagerly waiting for it to download, and oh so tired of listening to it and feeling my face slowly droop with each track. Like, I can't properly write a legitimate critique of The Whole Love without grooooooaning. So please excuse my lethargy as I present, instead of a review, a list of why The Whole Love is causing me a whole lot of disdain:
-The first and last songs on the album ("Art of Almost" and "One Sunday Morning") are actually good. They're just sandwiched between lameness.
-Musically, the album is all over the map and totally directionless. You don't lose yourself in the album; you feel lost.
-Lyrically, the album is simply unimpressive. Or rather, the lyrics don't stand out amidst the uninspiring music. And I'm a lyrics girl...I'm listening carefully! On "Born Alone" Tweedy sings: "Sadness is my luxury." Really? Well thanks for passing it on and making my listening experience so luxurious!
-Every song sounds like it belongs on one of their past albums, as if the album is a collection of b-sides. Except not good b-sides.
-Wilco released this album themselves on their own brand new label. It's a total fail for their first attempt. They need to try again.
-I loved Wilco's 2007 release Sky Blue Sky so I know they still have it in them to make an awesome album. There's absolutely no excuse for the mediocrity and aimlessness of The Whole Love .
-I kept hoping to be moved, like I usually am with Wilco, but nothing I heard stirred me emotionally. The album isn't horrible but it is bad by Wilco standards. I have high expectations for them because they've earned it. This time, they just didn't live up to their potential.
That's it. Now I'm feeling gloomy. I'm going to clean out my ears and cheer myself up by listening to "Jesus, Etc." on repeat.