Review: Wilco, ‘The Whole Love’

Review: Wilco, ‘The Whole Love’: Aidin Vaziri | Wilco’s eighth studio album has an endearingly homespun feel. Yes, “The Whole Love” was recorded at the band’s Chicago loft and self-produced for its own label, dBpm Records. But the laid-back mood of the record has more to do with a general shift in attitude, which started to emerge sometime around the release of 2008’s “Wilco (The Album).” With front man Jeff Tweedy sober and the group secure in its place on the fringes of the pop music universe, it has become free to explore its endless creative impulses in full. So the LP opens with a sprawling, seven-minute experimental piece called “Art of Almost” that prominently features computer sound effects and fuzzy guitar riffs. “I Might” is a chunky power-pop number reminiscent of the “Summerteeth” era, while “Black Moon” is the kind of elegiac late-night folk song that would make Fleet Foxes moisten their boot-cut jeans. Tweedy’s voice is in especially fine form on the lovely acoustic ballad “Open Mind.” The sprawling closer “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend,” meanwhile, just may be the most devastating of the bunch – a hushed piano ballad that basically sounds like the band casually strumming away in the family room while coffee brews in the kitchen and bacon burns on the stove. Which, come to think of it, may be exactly the way it went down.

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