Album: Wilco (The Album)
Warm, friendly and inviting, Wilco's latest endeavor, Wilco (The Album) was a welcome and encouraging start to summer 2009. The melodies lacked complication-- there were no sprawling soundscapes like that of "Impossible Germany" on 2007's Sky Blue Sky. They also remained as positive as possible, beginning of course, with the bubbly, reassuring intro "Wilco (The Song)." By this point in the band's lengthy career, they understand their status and familiarity. Rather than run from it, they've embraced it, and the results are still astoundingly fresh.
Even in its darkest moments (i.e.- "Bull Black Nova"), Wilco (The Album) maintains the type of aesthetic that begs you to continue on with peppy backgrounds and bright scenery. Songs like "One Wing" and "You and I" take complicated and potentially stressful situations and turn each into a mixtape gem. Elsewhere, servings of Americana and folk are delivered in heavy, yet not overbearing doses. Possibly more than any Wilco album before it, this record is familiar from the onset. Needing no lengthy introduction, the listener can simply delve right into its reassuring charms. Jeff Tweedy and the rest of Wilco are getting older, yes, but they'll never leave outward hints of it in their music. Rather, just small clues, but I doubt that aging will slow them down anytime soon.
Best Track: "Wilco (The Song)"
[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Albums of 2009: #15, Wavves' Wavvves]