In this week’s Village Voice, Mike Powell reviewed Wilco’s Wilco (The Album) and made me laugh so hard I damn near soiled myself. You, sir, are an entertaining read.
Here’s a few excerpts from the review:
“Wilco” is a five-letter word for the quiet slaughter of all that is elemental, passionate, and reverentially stupid about rock ‘n’ roll.
Their peak party moments sound like a good time as described by someone who hasn’t actually had one.
Wilco: The Band That Rocks, Within Reason.
I also didn’t understand what critics and friends meant when they would say things like, “Wilco are the American Radiohead.” Wilco are not the American Radiohead. Wilco are maybe six weary Jackson Brownes. Or what sandblasted jeans would say if they could talk*. Listening to Wilco is like finding a rainbow between gray and tan.
My sentiments exactly. I’ve spent four or five years scratching my head over Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002), wondering how oh why that record achieved a perfect 10.0 rating from Pitchfork and countless “Album of the Year” honors.
That’s not to say it’s a shitty record. “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” and the immaculately produced “Jesus, Etc.” are both brilliant, brilliant tracks, and the other nine--though quite boring--won’t harm you. No true gaggers to speak of. But I fail to understand why critic after breathless critic tripped over their own laces penning adulatory, idolatrous reviews that oughta be reserved for the Radioheads and, say, Will Oldhams of the music world…
…which set me to thinking about other grossly overpraised records. Here’s a short list of recent titles:
1) Portishead’s Third (2008)
2) Peter Bjorn and John’s Writer’s Block (2006)
3) MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular (digital release: 2007; physical release: 2008)
4) TV on the Radio’s Dear Science (2008)