Monday, May 28, 2007

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

Last week a friend of mine from Boston called me on my cell and euthusiastically endorsed the latest album by Wilco call Sky Blue Sky. I have had Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in my collection for since it first came out but I have had a hard time listening to it. The backstory of Wilco keeping their artistic freedom while "sticking it to the man." was very intriguing and I deemed it worth a purchase. However, I have found Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to be a hard listen even though it is a very respectable piece of art.

My friend has made very good recommendations in the past and I saw no reason to not follow along. In any case all I had to lose is $9.99 on iTunes. I downloaded Wilco's Sky Blue Sky and Kamikaze Hearts' Oneida Road. I have listen to both several times they will both be added to my alt-country play list when I create it.

I listened to both Sky Blue Sky and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it is hard to believe that they were done by the same band. While Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was an effort to be truly creative Sky Blue Sky is more of a effort to showcase Wilco's musical influences. This album as a bit of everything and I am pretty sure that every track has an extended guitar solo. By the third song I knew why my friend had recommended it to me.

This album is so much of a guitar album that you could list each song by the type of guitar solo that is on it. The first song "Either Way" has a nice jazz guitar break. There is one song that has a dual guitar jam similar to Television. There are some Don Rich, Les Paul and Chet Atkins influenced picking on other cuts. There are some straight ahead rock and roll solos as well.
While I suspect a lot of the fans of Wilco's earlier albums might be disappointed by Sky Blue Sky I am really enjoying listening it. It is very accessible, the songs are well written and it jam packed with layered guitars.
My friend from Boston has made another fine recommendation. There must be something in the water in Boston that makes Bostonians love both the Red Sox and good music.

I have listened to Kamikaze Hearts' Oneida Road several times and I have not been disappointed. I am not sure how much more I can add to the review I included in a previous post. While I was originally looking for a Central/Upstate New York connection the album has a Southern feel. The songs are well written and the performances are stellar. If you like the music that comes out of Athens, Georgia and Austin, Texas you will definitely like Oneida Road.

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