Sound — 10
Sky Blue Sky is Wilco's 6th studio album. Following their breakthrough albums, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born, which are both very experimental and ear-challenging, Sky Blue Sky is in many ways the opposite of what one would expect from Wilco at this point. The album takes a much older-sounding approach, utilizing Wilco's folkier roots and classic rock backgrounds. It's their first studio release with experimental jazz-guitarist, Nels Cline, who delivers melodic riffs, and scorching solos. Although some feel frustrated the band seems to have taken a turn into their comfort zone, Sky Blue Sky is a beautiful sounding album, most of it recorded live in their loft with all analog equipment.
Lyrics — 8
Jeff Tweedy's lyrics are definitely different this time around. Having been through rehab for a dependency on migraine medication, there's a "there and back" aspect to it. The lyrics are accepting and hopeful. Lines like "oh but I didn't die, I should be satisfied, I survived, it's good enough for now" and "maybe you still love me, maybe you don't. either you will or you won't" are a more open approach that Tweedy has taken with his songwriting. There's still the wonderful literary imagery he's famous for, but you can understand what the songs are about way more than in the last two albums.
Overall Impression — 8
Sky Blue Sky is one of the most beautifully made albums of the last ten years, or even longer. It's recorded really really really well. Adding Nels Cline to the equation makes the band a supergroup, and the bands attitude grows with every release. It's really difficult to compare Wilco's albums to eachother. Each one is extremely different, with different musical and lyrical approaches. However, although I do love Sky Blue Sky just as much as any other Wilco album, I'm afraid that at this point, it doesn't compare to their last two studio albums. Then again, how can it? Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born are extremely epic. Sky Blue Sky is a fantastic creation nonetheless, and a must-have for any music lover, and especially musician.