M&T Best Albums of 2011: #3

#3. Wilco- The Whole Love

Our #3 album of the year comes from veteran Chicago rockers, and one of our all-time favorite bands– Wilco. Their eighth full-length effort begins with a sonic journey to the center of musical creativity that is called “Art of Almost.” After getting your mind blown by Nels Cline’s shredding skills, the band switches gears in an instant and leads you straight into the radio-friendly single “I Might.”

It is the depth of textures and styles that Wilco is able to cohesively incorporate throughout The Whole Love which makes it stand out amongst the previous 17 albums on our Best of 2011 list. There is the ghostly slide guitar and string accompaniment of “Black Moon”, the sentimentality of “Open Mind” and the endearing feel of the title track which is reminiscent of Sky Blue Sky as Jeff Tweedy repeats, “I’ll still love you to death/And I will never forget how.”

I like to call the album an “epic sandwich” where on one end we have the face-melting seven minute “Art of Almost” and on the other “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)” rides the same riff over and over again, but somehow it just doesn’t get old, even after 12 minutes.

As if 12 tracks and nearly an hour of new music wasn’t enough, Wilco even included six bonus tracks to accompany their new record. Two covers, two alternate versions of album cuts and two other original tunes are included either on the deluxe edition of The Whole Love or on the limited edition vinyl-only Speak Into The Rose EP. If you get your hands on the bonus tracks make sure to pay special attention to “Speak Into The Rose,” a track filled with spacey, fuzzed out guitars which very well could be the second coming of “Spiders (Kidsmoke).”

Featured Tracks: “Art of Almost”, “Dawned on Me”, “Black Moon”

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2011

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