Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Cover Artwork)


Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)


Wilco is a band that has been around for a while, and this new cd is their 4th release. Warner Bros dropped the band when they heard the demo tapes. lt was too "uncommerical". Wilco decided to post it on their website and let the listeners decide.

Here is a breakdown of my 5 favorite tracks from the cd.

So the cd begins with
1. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart - for at least 30 seconds there is just scattered noises, electronic jagged piano. The Jeff Tweedy's voice is very jagged itself. He starts singing his metaphorical lyrics about his love for his girl. He can't disern whether or not he is in love, and he is full of contradictions. In one sense he loves her, but he wants to break her heart, (obviously). This cd starts the beginning of the confusing mind of Jeff Tweedy. Of course when the two lovers seperate, the pain enters.

2. Kamera - More of a classical guitar rocking song. Why it's spelled with a K, I have no idea. So much of what's wrong is unseen, so even when he looks to his family or friends, things are not okay. I love the way he uses the kamera as an idea that our eyes are storing pictures of pain, rather than latent images.

5. War on War - at a first glance it might be seen as a protestor anthem, based upon Wilco's far left politics. However, the simple lyrics, and general thoughts on the song just make you realize that it's much more important than that. It's as if he's saying we are always at war trying to be be happy, fighting off out demons, or trying to make ourselves happy, instead of embracing of the messed up emotions we have. "You're gonna, you have to lost, you have to learn how to die, if you wanna wanna be alive." I don't know if there is more of a mature look at seeing the crisises in our life like that.

8. I'm the man who loves you - great song about his love for a woman and so many of the emotions felt, that are expressed. "All I can see is black & white & white & pink And play it to blue Then lay between the words I think That picture that i was meaning to send her." It says a lot about trying to let someone know how you feel, and being unable to get your busy mind across.

It's great when simple ideas like this are great works of art, simply because I can think of all those horrible bands who try to do this with catchy hooks, catchy beats and catchy lyrics, and in a laughable way, they miss the whole emotion....it becomes about pride, not about love.

Anyway, if you still think the new Simple Plan CD deserves more awards than this CD, hear me out for one more song...

Jesus etc. - In a cynical society, where we scrutinize each other over every sentence, as many of you will do while reading this review, sometimes it's just obvious that the music has no passion. The best example is the world portrayed by Radiohead. While Radiohead certainly does not want the cold, sterile world that it fears from the corporate, greed-for-the-sake-of-greed human right violaters. It is sadly a false image too many view as true.

Wilco, while certainly singing with his heart on his sleeve, and mind on his uncertainly seems to imply that he still sees beauty in this world. His lyrics suggest his dedication to Christ even though the world around him is secular. Jesus, don't cry You can rely on me honey You combine anything you want I'll be around You were right about the stars Each one is a setting sun Tall buildings shake Voices are scared Singing sad sad songs Two two chords Strung down your cheeks Bitter melodies Turning your orbit around To sum the CD in total, it is very slow. In fact, I would go as hard as to say the majority of songs are a mangle of unclear messages, ugly noises for the beginning of most songs, still all the songs come together to a point of crystalization. I don't like all the songs, but none of them feel rushed, none feel pretencious, none feel superficial. Jeff Tweedy isn't afraid of staying things that cause controversy like the love of his country, and the love of God. This CD is a concept CD, not lyrically, but musically. The first several songs are about the confusion Tweedy roams in his life. There is just so much to deal with. The next 4-6 are about accepting the suffering and living in humility, because it's the only way to be alive. From there it becomes more complicated, but it suggests unsung love, where love is not recipicated.

The album ends with Reservations. A great song about how despite all the turmoil and uncertainly love is clear, and it is real. It has religious implications, or could it be a love a song, or even an acknowledgement of the power of the human spirit?

This CD ends on a good note, and just for the record, many consider this the best cd of the 2000's so far, and I am not sure I agree but it's certainly in my top 3. I just hope come 2010, Radiohead doesn't get another 1st place for the best of the 2000s with Kid A.

You probably won't listen to this with friends, it isn't going to get you wild for a show, but it will bring you spiritually to a new world of creativity and bold realism. Listen to this CD, you'll love it.