Review #88: Wilco – Star Wars

Artist – Wilco
Album – Star Wars (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/7BD2cOGKumTOMctWSysCD5

Wilco are a roots rock band from Chicago, USA. The line-up of Wilco has changed quite frequently over the years, but as it stands today they consist of Jeff Tweedy – vocals/guitar, John Stirratt – bass, Glenn Kotche – drums, Pat Sansone – keys, Mikael Jorgensen – keys/guitar and Nels Cline – guitar. The band formed in 1994 out of the remnants of alt-country band ‘Uncle Tupelo’ and began writing and performing, inspired by artists such as The Beatles and Television. The band currently have 9 albums out and 4 collaboration albums solely with politically driven musician Billy Bragg. This is Wilco’s 9th album ‘Star Wars’.

As mentioned previously, Wilco are heavily influenced by The Beatles, and this can be heard from the get go on ‘Star Wars’. From the innovative use of effects in production, the Lennon style vocal sound/delivery and interesting solos delivered by the guitar, Wilco have taken from their heroes and developed on that with a slightly more distorted and up to date sound. As well as the often Lennon style, singer Jeff Tweedy at times delivers some Dylan-esque lines and a little Tom Petty, showing diversity in his range and his ability to cater to the sound of each song. The use of effects on the production of this album is interesting, used more as an extra layer of sound to create a fuller song and used as a dynamic tool to create chaos at times building to a loud crescendo. My personal favourite songs on this album have to be ‘Random Name Generator’ for its catchy QOTSA-ish guitar riff at the beginning and the way it grows in dynamics, and the song ‘EKG’ just for the unusual sound and way it begins this album.

Star Wars is a great and interesting album, innovating in performance and sound, but also calling back to the past masters of its genre.

8/10

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