Sky Blue Sky Review

artist: Wilco date: 01/27/2014 category: compact discs
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky
Release Date: May 15, 2007
Genre: Alternative Country-Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
Label: Nonesuch
Number Of Tracks: 12
"Sky Blue Sky" may find Wilco dipping their toes into roots rock again, but this doesn't feel like a step back so much as another fresh path for one of America's most consistently interesting bands.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8.7
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reviews (3) 11 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Sky Blue Sky Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 24, 2007
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Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 9
Sky Blue Sky Reviewed by: dividedsky, on december 28, 2007
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Sound: Wilco's sound on this album is mixture of old and new. The sound of the first two tracks hearkens back to older musical textures. The organ playing on the first track reminded me of The Band. While part of the album seems very mature and relaxed compared to previous releases, the addition of Nels Cline definitely brings a progressive sort of edge to the album. For example, Side with the Seeds goes places that previous Wilco just couldn't, and actually makes you think at points "they're shredding up some progressive rock." Some great keyboard textures on the track really add to that. Overall the songwriting is really good, especially "Please be Patient with Me," which is becoming one of my favorite Wilco songs. // 10

Lyrics: Tweedy gives a solid performance on this album. His voice comes off a little differently from previous albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, where at times I thought he was trying to sound too much like Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. Vocals here are a little more restrained than previous albums, but lyrically he still remains brilliant. Good lyrics throughout the album, although the chorus of "What Light" is repeated a bit too much for me. // 8

Overall Impression: This doesn't feature the really incredible pop-sensible songwriting that I loved about Summerteeth, but comes with a much more mature (while still innovative) sound. I really like Nels Cline's contributions to the band, and the album has a great feel to it. My favorite tracks are "Please be Patient with Me," "Side with the Seeds," "Sky Blue Sky," and "You are My Face," among other great additions. The only thing that irks me about this album is the song order regarding the first two tracks. They both start at the same tempo in the same key! While this threw me off at first, overall the album is great, and is definitely one of my favorite Wilco albums. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Sky Blue Sky Reviewed by: Moon Loungers, on january 27, 2014
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Sound: "Sky Blue Sky" is one of my favourite albums of all time, the melodies tend to stay with me and I find myself coming back to listen again regularly. Nels Cline, the lead guitarist, is one of the greatest guitarists of the modern era (in my opinion, of course), and his solos are the highlight of what is a fantastic album for me. It is quite unusual for a lead guitarist to be given so much freedom in this day and age, particularly in a band that seems to be driven by the calibre of their song writing, rather than their musicianship alone. // 9

Lyrics: This album is strong lyrically, with many themes relating to life and relationships that we can all relate to. Sad songs such as "Leave Me (Like You Found Me)" and "Hate It Here," which deal with love and loss, are complimented by more complex and upbeat tracks such as "Impossible Germany," which is much more upbeat and looks at the complexities of relationships, in a roundabout way. Perhaps most touching of all is the final track "On and On and On," which Tweedy wrote as a homage to his widowed father. // 8

Overall Impression: I give this album 9 out of 10 and if you've not had the pleasure, it is well worth a listen. There are many things that make this album great, but above all else, the diversity of "Sky Blue Sky" is its greatest feature. The album effortlessly sways between gentle, country style ballads, and full on heavy rock songs with extended solos. In amongst all this, the album retains a wonderfully simple sound - it isn't over produced and often just sounds like a bunch of guys jamming out the songs in their front room. For me the stand out track is "Impossible Germany," but that is mainly down to the unique and extraordinarily impressive guitar solo at the end of the track. If you get a chance, I also recommend checking out some of their live stuff on YouTube and for any guitarists out there, witnessing a live performance of "Impossible Germany" is a must. // 9

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