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Wilco - Cruel Country - New Album


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If this album is actually going to be released on May 27, that suggests a digital release with physical media to follow later.  If a physical release is coming May 27, there should a pre-order already underway.

 

As a non-streamer, I hope I'm wrong about this.

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I'm having a complicated reaction to this album that seems to be rooted in competing sensors and expectations. Most of all, I respond to Wilco's multifaceted muse; I love both chaotic and folksy

So, thoughts on the album - it's a bit on the long side:   I'll be upfront and say that I'm simply thankful for Cruel Country because it's given us "Country Song Upside Down". When this land

It's hard to express how deeply I love this new album and can't wait to hear it at Solid Sound. I've been hoping Wilco would do a "country" album for a long time, but the direction of the past three m

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4 hours ago, Blackberry Rust said:

 

I could listen to it here in Australia.

 

That's some good stuff and a genuine stylistic surprise! So much twang going on..I immediately had Merle Haggard's "Workingman's Blues" come to mind. 

 

Based on the little tidbits via Starship Casual and Glenn's Instagram, I suspect we're in for something fairly eclectic, which is really, really exciting.

This jaunty beauty may be Jeff's funniest song ever! I can already imagine it live.

And it tells a story I think every pandemic couple can understand!

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1 hour ago, Brian F. said:

If this album is actually going to be released on May 27, that suggests a digital release with physical media to follow later.  If a physical release is coming May 27, there should a pre-order already underway.

 

As a non-streamer, I hope I'm wrong about this.

 

It seemed like the band was working on the record relatively recently... if that's true, with the delay in vinyl production I wouldn't expect anything till the end of the year at the earliest. Maybe CDs??

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46 minutes ago, TCP said:

 

It seemed like the band was working on the record relatively recently... if that's true, with the delay in vinyl production I wouldn't expect anything till the end of the year at the earliest. Maybe CDs??

 

I don't think you could get a CD done with artwork on that time frame. 

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21 songs?? Wow!

 

7 minutes ago, Brian F. said:

 

I don't think you could get a CD done with artwork on that time frame. 

Yeah you're probably right.

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Hey y'all, I put together a playlist with all of the new album songs that Jeff has already played on the tweedy show: Wilco - Cruel Country Playlist

 

There have been a few demos/first drafts released on Starship Casual as well, for those who subscribe. There's a pretty well fleshed out full-band demo of Story to Tell, which I'd have to say is my early pick for favorite song on the album.

 

If anyone sees a song from the track list that I'm missing on the playlist, let me know and I'll add it!

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Digging the baritone and B-Bender guitars.  

 

Hopefully this sound, great as it is, is only one facet of a wide ranging album.

 

Agree about the artwork.  Very nice, and refreshing to see.  I thought the Ode to Joy artwork sucked, Schmilco art was ok, Star Wars art was tossed off. 

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23 minutes ago, jff said:

  I thought the Ode artwork sucked.

The nerve! It's a Grammy winner!! 

 

This new album is going to make very many people happy, and help make the summer great.

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So who thinks this will actually be a largely country record? In some ways this single is a more faithful channeling of the Bakersfield sound than anything from the "alt country" days of AM.

 

Also, I'm playing the game of what is everyone who isn't the rhythm section doing?

 

Nels- kaleidiscopic phaser country lead kicking ass all over the place

Jeff- foundational acoustic strumming

Pat- spanky, plucky telecaster part

Mikael- ???? Not a lot of organ, or piano on there. I might be picking up on some subtle keyboards.

 

Also, I'm guessing John and Glenn are doing what they often do: making me thing they're being super minimalist and understated to just serve the song, but on the 10th listen I'll realize there is more than meets the eye in their parts.

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13 minutes ago, lost highway said:

So who thinks this will actually be a largely country record? In some ways this single is a more faithful channeling of the Bakersfield sound than anything from the "alt country" days of AM.

I vaguely remember Jeff saying they had put together a "F'd up county record" or something like that. Seems like a long time ago.  Anyone else remember that?

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43 minutes ago, Lukestar said:

The nerve! It's a Grammy winner!! 

 

 

Sucked might be an unfair description, but thanks you for the hard evidence supporting my opinion. 😂

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10 hours ago, u2roolz said:

Here’s the track list & awesome artwork, according to iTunes. 😍

 

 

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That artwork makes me think of Ryan Adams and The Cardinals - Cold Roses.

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47 minutes ago, lost highway said:

So who thinks this will actually be a largely country record? In some ways this single is a more faithful channeling of the Bakersfield sound than anything from the "alt country" days of AM.

 

Also, I'm playing the game of what is everyone who isn't the rhythm section doing?

 

Nels- kaleidiscopic phaser country lead kicking ass all over the place

Jeff- foundational acoustic strumming

Pat- spanky, plucky telecaster part

Mikael- ???? Not a lot of organ, or piano on there. I might be picking up on some subtle keyboards.

 

Also, I'm guessing John and Glenn are doing what they often do: making me thing they're being super minimalist and understated to just serve the song, but on the 10th listen I'll realize there is more than meets the eye in their parts.


I’m in the camp that hopes it is not largely a country record.  I love this type of country. This is a straight-up throw back to Buck Owens and others and is not “alt” in any sense.   But 21 songs is a lot of space to devote to one type of sound.  I’d love for this one to be all over the map.  
 

Already we have one song with some real tempo to it, unlike any of the molasses on Ode (not counting Everyone Hides.)

 

Regarding instrumentation, on first impression, I’m pretty sure it’s Nels on the baritone (low pitched) guitar.  Nels is a huge Danelectro/Jerry Jones enthusiast, and baritone guitars have long been a mainstay of their product line.   It’s probably Pat playing a B-Bender guitar (the stuff that sounds like pedal steel.). On second impression, there’s definitely some piano in there, but it’s really subtle in the mix.   I didn’t even notice it until the final note of the song, where you can hear a piano  note ringing along with the guitars.

 

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This is officially announced on the band's website now. Digital only: "Yes, CD and LP editions are in the works, but we’ll spare you the supply chain talk."

 

I'm wary to make any predictions on the album sound based off this first single, Locator which was the first Schmilco song we heard, didn't really represent the sound of that album and Everyone Hides didn't really represent the sound of Ode to Joy.

 

 

EDIT:

"The dynamic Chicago rock band Wilco returns with its 12th studio album, the first of its kind. Cruel Country is the band's exploration of the genre they've often been defined by but, until now, never fully embraced. The double album features 21 Jeff Tweedy-penned tracks, made almost entirely of live takes, created with all six members together in The Loft for the first time since the 2011 release The Whole Love."

 

I'm excited that the album was recorded with the band together in studio. I really appreciate the way albums like Sky Blue Sky sound.

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Wilco goes Country! The band's new double album — Cruel Country — will be available digitally on May 27 and played live for the first time at the band's own festival, Solid Sound.

CD and LP editions are in the works.

Preorder at https://wilcostore.com/pro.../cruel-country-digital-download and get an instant download of the track "Falling Apart (Right Now)."

 

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So if I want to buy a vinyl copy I'm going to have to essentially purchase the album twice (digital and LP) unless I just wait until the actual record comes out?  Lame.

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1 minute ago, Madcap said:

So if I want to buy a vinyl copy I'm going to have to essentially purchase the album twice (digital and LP) unless I just wait until the actual record comes out?  Lame.

 

Could you not stream the record till the LP comes out?

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I'm digging this song and this sound. I won't speculate on what the whole album will sound like, but if it is a "country" album I'll be pretty happy. If it's not then I look forward to hearing the ground they cover. 

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There's something comforting about seeing the band recording in The Loft in black and white.

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