Matt's Track of the Week: "Radio Cure"

Song: Radio Cure
Artist: Wilco
Album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Year: 2002

When Warner Bros. rejected Wilco's offering of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and dropped them from the label, it was on the grounds that the major label executives couldn't find a viable single.  As far as radio-friendly, Top 40 hits are concerned, they may have been right.  Obviously, the point-of-view of someone trying to market the band and someone trying to enjoy the band are two different things.  Even so, YHF has since become their best-selling album to date, and in my opinion, contains some of the best work of their lengthy career.

The thing I find most interesting about this album, is how spacious a majority of the tracks sound.  This is heard especially on "Radio Cure", which is accentuated further by the rising feedback, and samples of shortwave radio interference that fill the void behind the simple guitar lines and Jeff Tweedy's drained vocals.  The song feels regretfully apologetic, in a way that is more explanatory than anything.  It's as if the narrator knows he is unable to fix a problem within himself that sometimes causes others pain, so now he is looking simply for understanding.  Musically, this song builds until the point where you think it will open up, but then it just continues to build more tension and change form.  Quite a unique tune.  Check it out below.

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