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Wilco - Cruel Country - New Album


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1 hour ago, chisoxjtrain said:

 

I like the album, and I respect people's opinions that they don't like the album.

 

To jff's post, I really think the invention of social media has made people feel like their opinion is extremely important when in fact it really isn't. I would care for my friends' opinions, but I don't give a shit what a random person thinks about something I didn't make or I am not involved in.

 

 

Yes, this is an unpleasant and societally damaging phenomenon.  I'm sure I've been guilty of falling into that trap at times. 

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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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1 hour ago, brownie said:

I find it odd that there would be such heated discussion regarding masterpiece/non-masterpiece for an album that was released just four days ago.  I have only been able to listen to the album a few times because I did not have early access, and it was a busy holiday weekend.

 

What seems to be happening with me is that the album is slowly revealing itself to me over time.  There is no way I can have any opinion at all about it yet, let alone decide if it’s a masterpiece or not!

 

This bold portion is something the FB page has made me think about.  On one hand, there are the people raving about it, feeling their opinion is more valid than those who don't care for it.  On the other, some people aren't into it for a variety of stated and unstated reasons. It's equally new to all of us, so I don't know why the fans would think their opinion is the correct one and the naysayers will come around to it in time.  Isn't it equally possible the naysayers are correct and the fans will come around to THAT opinion in time?  Neither camp has a rightful claim at this early point to a fair or correct view of how well the album will hold up over time.  Both sides have the exact same evidence to work with.

 

I don't say that to argue either side.  I hope and suspect it will hold up as a good one in the opinions of most fans.  I just see an interesting philosophical debate that is being treated more like a petty squabble that's getting out of hand. 

 

 

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Yeah, it's gotten gnarly. Something about Facebook tends to move things towards a base level argument which is a lot of feelings, but not a lot of thoughtful discourse. Now the posts about people griping about what other people keep saying are one step removed from the music. I'm trying to figure out some of my own guidelines for how fans can pick apart of piece of art without it descending into whatever went on there.

 

I don't need other people to like this record the way I like it, I can tell some people's appreciation dwarfs my own fanboy tendencies. I think where it gets off course goes along with the same guidelines for writing critically about anything. To add to the conversation one simply needs to form a thought about the work, and connect it with a specific example. I can see how people get irritated with the very broad "These guys haven't released a good album in 15 years" hot takes, or the opposite "They've only done magnificent work and if you don't know it's cause your ears are broken". It might feel like someone is informing you that something you've been enjoying is actually crap and they just wanted to show up to tell a stranger that message.

 

Once again, I've enjoyed reading the reactions on here ranging from glowing, to mixed, to overall disappointment. The Facebook comments don't all seem to come from the same place.

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6 minutes ago, lost highway said:

Yeah, it's gotten gnarly. Something about Facebook tends to move things towards a base level argument which is a lot of feelings, but not a lot of thoughtful discourse. Now the posts about people griping about what other people keep saying are one step removed from the music. I'm trying to figure out some of my own guidelines for how fans can pick apart of piece of art without it descending into whatever went on there.

 

I don't need other people to like this record the way I like it, I can tell some people's appreciation dwarfs my own fanboy tendencies. I think where it gets off course goes along with the same guidelines for writing critically about anything. To add to the conversation one simply needs to form a thought about the work, and connect it with a specific example. I can see how people get irritated with the very broad "These guys haven't released a good album in 15 years" hot takes, or the opposite "They've only done magnificent work and if you don't know it's cause your ears are broken". It might feel like someone is informing you that something you've been enjoying is actually crap and they just wanted to show up to tell a stranger that message.

 

Once again, I've enjoyed reading the reactions on here ranging from glowing, to mixed, to overall disappointment. The Facebook comments don't all seem to come from the same place.

 

 

Right.

 

And a huge part of the lack of thoughtful discourse is people don't know how to have that discourse without insulting/putting down previous works (that many people do love). There's a way to say you liked this album without putting down Ode to Joy, Schmilco, Star Wars, etc.

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After a few listens I gave a bit of a "meh" review earlier in this thread. I have to say, hearing it live at Solid Sound - and hearing some of the more intense songs replayed Saturday night - gave me a much better appreciation of the album. It really came to life for me on Joe's Field. I have a whole new appreciation after haring those songs played beautifully in a live setting.  I was initially a bit put-off at the idea of using most of a whole SS evening to play new material; I ended up enjoying that evening immensely (plus New Madrid is one of my all-time favorites, so that was a bonus!)

 

I look forward to hearing some of these songs when they come around again later this summer.

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kinda funny all this Wilco vs Wilco stuff. On a whim I decided to listen to Star Wars, haven't heard it since it came out. I was surprised how much I liked it. Things can change on so many different levels of listening. When, mood, headphones.

next up Schmilco.

 

I did enjoy CC better live. A little looser than the record, like most live music.

 

the FB group ? basically cracks me up. 

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Just listened to the album in its entirety for the first time. My first experience with it was Friday night at Joe's Field. A number of the songs sounded great to me live, and I couldn't wait to hear the recorded versions. The songs that sound like Jeff solo songs don't do much for me at this point. There are several songs that have kinda gotten into my head, which is something I can't say for most recent Wilco songs. I need more time with it though. I do love the "country" flourishes and wish there were more. It's definitely not another "Being There," and I probably have to accept that there never will be. But it might prove to be my favorite Wilco record of the last decade. 

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2 hours ago, tongue-tied lightning said:

kinda funny all this Wilco vs Wilco stuff. On a whim I decided to listen to Star Wars, haven't heard it since it came out. I was surprised how much I liked it. Things can change on so many different levels of listening. When, mood, headphones.

next up Schmilco.

 

I did enjoy CC better live. A little looser than the record, like most live music.

 

the FB group ? basically cracks me up. 

 

Wait, Drew...you were at Solid Sound, and I missed you?!! Well dammit!

Try again in 2 years?

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Not with those who say it sounds more like Wilco. To me it is Love is the King part 2 (which was Warm pt 3).  Hardly any backing vocals, keyboards almost non existent, virtually no Nels and Glenn doesn't seem to be playing much that Spencer hasn't probably already played on these songs.

 

There are a few good songs, but the whole thing is just so downbeat it makes me hope that Jeff is getting some professional help, he sounds so depressed. I am sure songwriting is part of his way of dealing with it.

 

After I listened to it in the car I switched to the Sirius/XM 60s station. They were playing I can See for Miles, full of drama, crashing chords, wonderful lyrics and a production that blows your mind. Wilco can do that! (or they used to be able to)

 

I reserve the right to modify my opinion after a few more listens, so far 2.33, with 1.33 of those being live.

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1 hour ago, summerdai said:

Not with those who say it sounds more like Wilco. To me it is Love is the King part 2 (which was Warm pt 3).  Hardly any backing vocals, keyboards almost non existent, virtually no Nels and Glenn doesn't seem to be playing much that Spencer hasn't probably already played on these songs.

 

There are a few good songs, but the whole thing is just so downbeat it makes me hope that Jeff is getting some professional help, he sounds so depressed. I am sure songwriting is part of his way of dealing with it.

 

After I listened to it in the car I switched to the Sirius/XM 60s station. They were playing I can See for Miles, full of drama, crashing chords, wonderful lyrics and a production that blows your mind. Wilco can do that! (or they used to be able to)

 

I reserve the right to modify my opinion after a few more listens, so far 2.33, with 1.33 of those being live.

 

One thing I noticed at Solid Sound is that a fair number of these songs have more life in them when played live. Especially keyboards. I get what you're saying though about the overall feel/spirit of the songs. I've been sick most of this year and confined largely to working and sleeping. I wanted to let loose and was hoping this album would be the soundtrack for my summer (and the remainder of the year). I still think many of the songs hold up well, but they're not what I'm in the mood for. I've only listened to the recording once, so like you I need more time with it. 

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13 minutes ago, tongue-tied lightning said:

ha ! nope, didn't make it. I streamed the shows though.

do you think I would've gone to SS without telling you ?!!!

 

Ok, that makes more sense! So plan on 2024! :party

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The last half of Many Worlds sounds like it would fit right in on any of Mark Knopfler's solo albums, with those long, wistful, sliding guitar solos. I love it. In fact, at one point at Solid Sound (maybe this very song) Nels played a guitar similar to the one that appears on the cover of Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms. And before Sylvan Esso's set on Friday the PA played Knopfler solo tunes for a solid hour. That made me happy.

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I've enjoyed reading the many thoughtful, well-written reviews in this thread.  I'm going to wait until I receive a physical copy of the album before I listen to it (horribly and stubbornly old-fashioned on this issue, I know).  Anyone have any inside information on when dB will release Cruel Country on CD and vinyl?     

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13 minutes ago, Chez said:

I've enjoyed reading the many thoughtful, well-written reviews in this thread.  I'm going to wait until I receive a physical copy of the album before I listen to it (horribly and stubbornly old-fashioned on this issue, I know).  Anyone have any inside information on when dB will release Cruel Country on CD and vinyl?     

 

There will be a CD release on Record Store Day Drops June 18th:

https://recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/15451

Looks to be no-frills in terms of cover art, etc. 

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6 hours ago, Chez said:

I've enjoyed reading the many thoughtful, well-written reviews in this thread.  I'm going to wait until I receive a physical copy of the album before I listen to it (horribly and stubbornly old-fashioned on this issue, I know).  Anyone have any inside information on when dB will release Cruel Country on CD and vinyl?     

 

Like you, I am a physical-media person.  The only way I could even listen to streaming music or MP3s is on my desktop computer, and I am generally not sitting at my desk.  When I got the email with the link to download the album that was sent to Solid Sound subscribers, I downloaded it as .wav files and then burned it onto a CD.  77 minutes just barely fits on one CD.  I will still buy the CD (and vinyl) whenever they come out, but the burned CD will bridge the gap until then.

 

I also put the album's lyrics into a Word document.  If that would be useful to anyone, it's attached.  These lyrics are taken from the Wilco site, but it avoids having to navigate from page to page with each song.

Cruel Country Lyrics.docx

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2 hours ago, Chez said:

Thanks, TCP.  Unfortunately, I'll be in Wyoming on RSD.

Looks like it's limited to 8000, so I'm sure you'll be able to track one down after. All of the Wilco RSD stuff recently has shown up on the Wilco webstore within a few weeks too so keep an eye out I'm sure one will pop up!

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It’s finally happened and I can’t connect with this album. I’m listening it just doesn’t spark for me. I don’t know why. I feel sad about not loving it and also guilty for not feeling anything other than “meh” about it. Hmm. 

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1 hour ago, SarahC said:

It’s finally happened and I can’t connect with this album. I’m listening it just doesn’t spark for me. I don’t know why. I feel sad about not loving it and also guilty for not feeling anything other than “meh” about it. Hmm. 

 

I think all of the long haul folks here have had one. It's okay not to love it all. They lost me once a few albums ago and as they tend to do the very next one was totally different.

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22 hours ago, summerdai said:

No record stores in Wyoming?

Closest town for me is Jackson.  According to the Googles, there are no record stores in Jackson.

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(It's been forever since I've posted here.) Love the new record and need another place to discuss it. (I don't do fb).

 

Love CC more with each listen. There are many subtle parts that I completely missed on the first few listens. It's hard for me to believe they could arrange it so intricately via live takes in-studio.

 

I can understand those who don't love the energy of this record. Those who want more edgy rockers in the vein of AGIB, TWL or SW. I love that too. What I have a very hard time accepting are those who say it's a continuation of Jeff's solo work. There are just so many sonic flourishes and carefully crafted bits that, to me, distinguish Wilco's work from all others, including Jeff's solo albums.

 

Sorry if this seems a bit overheated, but I honestly find CC as rich a sonic landscape - though admittedly maybe the least experimental - to explore as any Wilco album. Nowhere near tired after maybe 10 listens.

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