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Schmilco Review Thread


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oh wow that early pitchfork review reads like a really shitty blog post. Man, how things have changed.

 

Indeed. Only the other day I was reading through an archived review of Jim O'Rourke's Eureka from 1999 which was beyond wretched - petulant, deeply cynical and just badly written.  

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Not strictly a Schmilco review, but here's Steve Hyman's "deep dive" into the Wilco catalog prompted by the release of Schmilco. 

 

http://uproxx.com/music/wilco-schmilco-career-retrospective/

 

Take it for what it's worth. Hyman's a long time serious Wilco fan. His paragraph on Being There could have come straight from my fingers on the keyboard. I don't agree with the comments about SBS, but that's a well worn path we've all been down before. 

 

My view on SW and Schmilco is that they too are "statement" records, just different statements than YHF. 

 

Anyhow, its a good read.

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Not strictly a Schmilco review, but here's Steve Hyman's "deep dive" into the Wilco catalog prompted by the release of Schmilco. 

 

http://uproxx.com/music/wilco-schmilco-career-retrospective/

 

Take it for what it's worth. Hyman's a long time serious Wilco fan. His paragraph on Being There could have come straight from my fingers on the keyboard. I don't agree with the comments about SBS, but that's a well worn path we've all been down before. 

 

My view on SW and Schmilco is that they too are "statement" records, just different statements than YHF. 

 

Anyhow, its a good read.

 

It's Steven Hyden. It was a good read. I mentioned this somewhere else, but I think he goes after the hot take a little too hard by saying that the YHF demos are better than the actual album.

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Not strictly a Schmilco review, but here's Steve Hyman's "deep dive" into the Wilco catalog prompted by the release of Schmilco.

 

http://uproxx.com/music/wilco-schmilco-career-retrospective/

 

Take it for what it's worth. Hyman's a long time serious Wilco fan. His paragraph on Being There could have come straight from my fingers on the keyboard. I don't agree with the comments about SBS, but that's a well worn path we've all been down before.

 

My view on SW and Schmilco is that they too are "statement" records, just different statements than YHF.

 

Anyhow, its a good read.

The one thing that really stuck in my craw here is it seems his closing remarks imply that Jeff chose casual albums to save his family. Like he can't make a "grand statement" and be healthy.

 

Tell me if I read it wrong.

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I think the phrase that stuck with me from the Uproxx piece was "gallows humour." It's about as concise and exact as you could describe Schmilco. Overall, I found the article to be quite an enjoyable read. You can really get the vibe that he's a true fan with the same contrarian attitudes to certain records that the rest of us often have here!

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The one thing that really stuck in my craw here is it seems his closing remarks imply that Jeff chose casual albums to save his family. Like he can't make a "grand statement" and be healthy.

 

Tell me if I read it wrong.

 

I think you're reading it wrong. I think he's saying that the albums he's making now are still "making a statement," but they no longer come at the expense of others. So they are just as urgent and just as "grand," but in different ways. I think the fact that the period generally considered Wilco's best is also the same time Tweedy was at his unhealthiest. So that leap in logic is often made (and it might not be necessarily completely false, but that's a different argument and could be mere coincidence). 

 

Hyden isn't saying that here. Especially after his comments on the ST-YHF-AGIB period where he states that some fans still want a "chain-smoking miserablist."

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As a lifelong Wilco fan (dating back to 1994), I think this is the record, along with Star Wars, that finally moves me into "disappointed" territory. I dig the first two songs on the new one and then it goes downhill fast. I mean, "Cry, cry, cry all day. Cry all night." Yikes. I'm still early in listening but songs 3-end just aren't grabbing me, with songs like "Common Sense" actually turning me off (this song is just brutal). I caught 3 of 5 Fillmore shows and although they're still great live, I do think it's clear that they've peaked, which given that the majority of the band is 20-25+ years into their careers, isn't surprising. But it is a bit of a bummer to see your favorite band on cruise control. 

 

Just for fun, here's how I'd rate their catalog:

AM B

BT A

ST A

YHF A

AGIB B

SBS B-

WTA C

TWL B+

SW D+

S C-/TBD

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I agree with Junior. I have read comments from the board about SW and S. After several takes, I am disappointed. Frankly, there is a dearth of melody and has been for some time. Just my 2 cents worth.  I listen and enjoy (somewhat) the newer material but I wind up listening to Being There through AGIB.

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Doc and Junior, that's too bad you two aren't feeling the newer albums as much. In my opinion they're the best two albums in a row the band has done since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot/A Ghost Is Born. I think every Wilco album has been good but to my ears the Sky Blue Sky, Wilco The Album, The Whole Love, maybe sounded a bit... complacent? Not sure if that's the best word to describe them, but I definitely never got into them as much as I have the new two (though, full disclosure, I find the older I get, the more I appreciate Sky Blue Sky). To me Star Wars and Schmilco sound very fresh and solid, they feature some of the best songs Jeff has written in years and the performances are just top notch, IMHO. But not everyone is going to like the same music! 

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Don't get me wrong. I enjoy both albums. I am disappointed in that after a few listens, I go back to the tried and true. I do like SBS a lot, too.  Maybe disappointed is too strong a word. Maybe my expectation that every album from the band I love so much will be a top 100 all time record is counterproductive.  Maybe I just need to experience the new songs live. 

 

The other possibility ,which I am dreading facing, is that after a certain age, one experiences music differently.

 

Too damn early to get philosophical.

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As a lifelong Wilco fan (dating back to 1994), I think this is the record, along with Star Wars, that finally moves me into "disappointed" territory. I dig the first two songs on the new one and then it goes downhill fast. I mean, "Cry, cry, cry all day. Cry all night." Yikes. I'm still early in listening but songs 3-end just aren't grabbing me, with songs like "Common Sense" actually turning me off (this song is just brutal). I caught 3 of 5 Fillmore shows and although they're still great live, I do think it's clear that they've peaked, which given that the majority of the band is 20-25+ years into their careers, isn't surprising. But it is a bit of a bummer to see your favorite band on cruise control. 

 

Just for fun, here's how I'd rate their catalog:

AM B

BT A

ST A

YHF A

AGIB B

SBS B-

WTA C

TWL B+

SW D+

S C-/TBD

 

Oh Man, to each their own, but I seriously think you should give SW and ...er....S more time. I'm a long time fan, aged 54, and I fucking love these recent records. I will admit that the initial spin of Schmilco (and Star Wars for that matter) had me baffled and disappointed. Tweedy is a genius, and I think the later Wilco albums are much less immediate but just as great as anything that Wilco has done. Sheesh...I'm even reconsidering SBS on a grand scale this week. Years ago I thought it was lesser Wilco. Now I think it is top tier Wilco. All I can say in summary is....keep listening to those Wilco albums that you think are shyte......keep an open mind.

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Doc and Junior, that's too bad you two aren't feeling the newer albums as much. In my opinion they're the best two albums in a row the band has done since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot/A Ghost Is Born. I think every Wilco album has been good but to my ears the Sky Blue Sky, Wilco The Album, The Whole Love, maybe sounded a bit... complacent? Not sure if that's the best word to describe them, but I definitely never got into them as much as I have the new two (though, full disclosure, I find the older I get, the more I appreciate Sky Blue Sky). To me Star Wars and Schmilco sound very fresh and solid, they feature some of the best songs Jeff has written in years and the performances are just top notch, IMHO. But not everyone is going to like the same music! 

 

I agree with this 120%. This week SBS has hit me HARD.....it's as if I just discovered it's beauty 9 years after the fact. And I love the 2 new ones. (SW is still "new". I'm still OTT thrilled with it.) And today, after 3 spins, I'm floored with Schmilco.

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