Sky Blue Sky

Studio Album by released in 2007
Sky Blue Sky's tracklist:
Either Way
You Are My Face
Impossible Germany
Sky Blue Sky
Side With the Seeds
Shake It Off
Please Be Patient With Me
Hate It Here
Leave Me (Like You Found Me)
Walken
What Light
On and On and On

Sky Blue Sky review

New album – new direction

Jeff Tweedy is not a person whose deeds you can't predict. Well at least in the musical sense. Even if you think that you have finally got to the bottom of his tangled ever-changeable creative concepts he will eventually strike you from the most unexpected direction any way. Being a leader and the main composer of alternative rock band Wilco for 13 years he has proved this peculiarity of his character more than once, and with the course of time such a behavior became the only thing you can expect with confidence. What is really peculiar about Wilco is that each of their albums is different from the rest. Probably it concerns a constantly changing lineup, the only person who was playing on all Wilco's records, besides Tweedy of course, is the band's bassist John Stirrat. In fact the band's career was never dependent on a steady lineup as such, Tweedy's songwriting style is quite simple, he is writing songs and lyrics, all the rest help with the arrangements, the more new musicians are in, the quirkier the arrangements are. However, it seems that Tweedy decided to change this approach. On Wilco's new album Sky Blue Sky all the musicians took part in the songwriting process. And this of course just couldn't but affect the way the band sounds.

Classic rock and country became new songs' basis

  

So how does Sky Blue Sky sound? First of all, the record is much calmer then Wilco's former albums. Gone are the experimental elements of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it doesn't have that raw rock energy of A Ghost Is Born, in fact Sky Blue Sky is a collection of simple, beautiful acoustic songs half of which are ballads. The most suitable official stylistic term for the album is country but honestly speaking it is mentioned here only because this is the first thing that comes to your mind when you listen to the first track Either Way. The song is purely acoustic and has a nice keyboard background, it sounds soft and beautiful. The album is full of such pieces. Track Sky Blue Sky is alike, Tweedy's voice sounds really calm. Hashed guitar strumming, brushed drums, slow guitar solo that plays throughout composition, it all makes the song unbearably elegant. Actually country elements are not that evident here it is just take their part in the long chain of classic rock influences that are scattered throughout the album. For example, mid tempo bluesy song Walken reminds Lynyrd Skynyrd and You Are My Face and Impossible Germany were definitely inspired by Neil Young's songs.

Legacy of old rock with modern indie tendencies

The title Sky Blue Sky suits this album perfectly. How else could you call a fresh, sincere music soaked with an excellent retro air of classic Americana? The main peculiarity of the album is that Wilco blended a legacy of old rock with modern indie tendencies. The sound of Sky Blue Sky is not that thing that associates with classic rock it rather serves as a link between past and present. Listen to a song called Side With The Seeds, it is very likely that this very combination of indie and classics will let Wilco solidify their own stylistic at last. A nostalgic retro spirit is very fragile, it presences but along with Wilco's personal tunes. Such an approach makes Sky Blue Sky attractive not only for old Wilco's admirers but also for fans of such bands as Modest Mouse or The Sheens. Yes, the influence of classic rock and country dominates here but none of the songs shifts to something standard or clichéd, a sparkle of uniqueness presences everywhere. Sky Blue Sky differs from former Wilco's albums quite appreciably, but this album became the most coherent in the entire band's discography, its simplicity and accessibility make every song unbelievably attractive.                         

(07.05.2007)
Rate review4.49
Total votes - 71


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