So, Wilco has released a new record and it was a secret and they are currently giving it away for free on their website.
The most notable aspect of this record is its energy and it harks back to their days of making more cohesive records like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Their current line-up has been settled for a decade, yet it has lead to some of their least evocative records and they were in danger of becoming a Grateful Dead-esque jam band. This record wipes that fear away and is easily the best thing they have done since Sky Blue Sky.
Star Wars is just 34 minutes long and this slight runtime means that each song is vital to the album’s overall feel, without the unnecessary or overlong songs that bloated their last record. The stand-out tracks are the fuzzy guitar’d and upbeat ‘Random Name Generator’, the chugging and churning ‘Pickled Ginger’ and the driving ‘King of You’. The whole thing is bookended by two of the strongest tracks ‘EKG’ and ‘Magnetized’. The former is a short, sharp shock of an opener, while the latter is Wilco’s classic combination of Jeff Tweedy’s stumbling vocals over soaring music. It’s the perfect conclusion to a record that has an immediacy not normally found on a Wilco record. Their best ones have traditionally taken their time and many listens to fully reveal themselves yet this is one I want to listen to again as soon as it finishes.