Friday, November 18, 2011

Album Review: Wilco – Being There


Or rather, Exile on Wilco St. Wilco was formed by Jeff Tweedy from the dying embers of alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo. Their first full length, Being There is an ambitious double album, with an ebb and flow feel along the lines of Rolling Stones’ 1972 double album Exile On Main Street.

They throw down a take-nothing-for-granted marker with opening track Misunderstood, a six minute epic which alternates between periods of calm and noise wig-outs with Tweedy roaring at the top of his voice. Not a whit of country to be found here. However they change tack completely with Far, Far Away, a casual Johnny Cash country strum with an easy feel to it.

The album is a real treasure trove of styles, veering from one to another. There are Stones-y rockers (Monday, I Got You), banjo-strums (Forget the Flowers, Someday Soon), downbeat laments (Red Eyed and Blue, Someone Else’s Song), not to forget noisier tracks in the style of the opener (Sunken Treasure), and the whole thing finishes with the Faces-style all over the shop boogie of Dreamer In My Dreams.

The album has a very classic early 70s feel to it. They would never sound quite so straightforward again.