Posted 11/7/2011 by cal
It’s a hard road, becoming an experimental rock band: once you go there, you can never go back. You try, you make an unpretentiously catchy pop record, and critics and fans will desert you. “Not strange enough!” they’ll cry. So, ever since Wilco
made Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
and its follow-up, A Ghost Is Born
, which featured a ten-minute noise barrage that most people at the time decried as impenetrable and pointless, the band has farmed increasingly familiar, folky, radio-friendly territory, orchestrating its own critical downslide. The gutsiest thing Wilco could’ve done in 2011 is release another slick album of ballads and shimmering pop-rockers. Instead, Jeff Tweedy
and company took the safe route with The Whole Love
and got a little bit weird again.