Wilco’s follow-up to 2004’s A Ghost Is Born is finally wrapped up and set to hit stores May 15. Last night, the band delivered the album in its entirety via their Web site, for anyone who wanted a preview.
I took advantage and was very happy that I did. As was evident in the Thanksgiving concert I attended, the band is moving confidently in a new direction, in which both the key ingredients of Nels Cline on lead and Glenn Kotche on drums tighten up. The songs are less experimental sounding than on the previous two records, but still Kotche and Cline’s wildly unique and at times improvisational styles are allowed to shine. This is very much Tweedy’s record, with several 70’s-style, shorter ballady songs. But nothing to slow. I’d say it’s the most definitive Wilco record to date, reflecting their progression from the rootsy sounds of A.M. through the aurally complex and looser compositions that dot YHF and Ghost.
Hear more of the new stuff on this live recording from last November at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago.