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(The Album) vs. American Central Dust


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I've listened extensively to both Wilco (The Album) and Son Volt's new one American Central Dust.

 

Both have their share of Klunkers, but American Central Dust has a bunch of solid tunes.

 

(The Album) has some good moments too, but has fallen way to the bottom of my CD stack. Farrar's new effort remains in the player.

 

Obviously I vote for American Central Dust.

 

What about you?

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I wonder if any Wilco fans go to the Son Volt board and talk crap...

 

I would check if I cared one whit about Son Volt these days.

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I wonder if any Wilco fans go to the Son Volt board and talk crap...

 

I would check if I cared one whit about Son Volt these days.

 

Someone must - there is already a thread like this one in the Just A Fan section. Also, there is a thread about American Central Dust in this section of the board. I don't see why both bands can't just be enjoyed without comparing them. I suppose it will always be that way though.

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I remain fans of both bands, but at this point I no longer think of Wilco and Son Volt as occupying the same musical space, and therefore comparisons always end up sounding contrived and meaningless. I can say this: I like both new albums on their own terms, but for me Wilco (The Album) has had more staying power than American Central Dust. Is it a better album? Well, not necessarily. I just happen to prefer W(TA)'s distinct weirdness over the relative monotony of ACD. To my ears, all of Farrar's songs are solid as individual experiences, but as an album they tend to blur together.

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Guest Speed Racer

I no longer think of Wilco and Son Volt as occupying the same musical space

 

Thank you. I can't tell if people make these posts out of habit, name-checking or if they really think Jet Pilot and Theologians are in the same universe.

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Thank you. I can't tell if people make these posts out of habit, name-checking or if they really think Jet Pilot and Theologians are in the same universe.

 

I like Jet Pilot better than Theologians...

 

Anyhoo..I like American Central Dust better as a whole but the Wilco album has better individual songs... I still love both bands and appreciate every contribution both bands make! :cheers

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i don't see why people get so bent out of shape about the son volt / wilco comparisons

 

two great bands led by two guys who grew up together and were in an amazing band together whose new records came out a few days apart

 

whether or not their new records sound similar or not, it's going to happen and that's natural

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Guest Speed Racer

it's going to happen and that's natural

 

I agree entirely that it's going to happen, but at this point it's like asking whether you like the bed or the desk better, because they used to be in the same house.

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I'm simultaneously fascinated and annoyed by Jeff/Jay comparisons. I've rolled my eyes at the "ashes of Uncle Tupelo" phrase that I see in so many reviews, yet I'm secretly comparing the two bands in my mind.

 

I'm not a longtime fan of Wilco or Son Volt. It just happens that in November of 2005 I decided the give both bands a chance. Boy was I surprised that the two guys started out in a band together. I never would have guessed it, but I like the fact that two musicians with a common beginning satisfy a large range of my musical needs.

 

I'm pretty sure I haven't listened to Wilco (the album) since the week it was released. I think it's a nice album, but not terribly compelling.

 

American Central Dust gets played a few times a week and the songs are constantly stuck in my head. It's not Jay's best work by a long shot, but it fits my mood.

 

I suppose I prefer the Son Volt record.

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I don't think it's particularly relevant to compare Wilco and Son Volt at this point. I love both bands, but they're fulfilling entirely different musical needs for me. But, since the premise of this thread is a comparison of the two new albums, the winner for me is, far and away, W(TA). Musically, they're both stone solid. I'd probably even give the slight edge to American Central Dust, because I'm a pushover for quality tunes with a bit of pedal steel and fiddle. But lyrically is where the battle is definitively won by Tweedy. Songs like One Wing, Country Disappeared, I'll Fight and Everlasting Everything read like poetry, and could stand alone as such. Combined with the band's performances and the timbre of Jeff's vocals, they're emotional and moving. There's not a single song on W(TA) that I dislike. My problem with American Central Dust is with the lyrics. Jay's always so willfully idiosyncratic with his lyrics, that it becomes a liability. When the lyrics actually pull you out of a song that you were under the spell of, it's maddening. Roll On totally pulled me in, and then that line about 'every Don Quizote has his day' ruins it. Pushed Too Far is a great song, but the 'Mother Theresa to the animal kingdom' line, again, for me, ruins it. Cocaine and Ashes would be a Son Volt classic for me, the melody is subtle and the arrangement beautiful and the vocal harmonies are exquisite, but the line about snorting his father is just so forced and clunky that it overshadows the greatness of the song.

 

Wilco (The Album) is the total package. Everything adds up to a perfect listening experience. The melodies, the lyrics, the musicianship, the vocals, everything's just right. American Central Dust certainly had the potential of standing alongside Trace and Straightaways -- the sound is there, the current configuration of SV is the strongest since the original lineup, but it's completely derailed by the quirks of Jay's songwriting. Just my opinion, but ACD was the year's biggest disappointment for me. It sounds so great as long as I don't listen too hard.

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