Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

by WilcoWilco


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The story of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot -- band records adventurous album, band gets tossed out on the street by multinational conglomerate label, album lands on critics' best-of lists the year before its release -- was one of 2001's more compelling showbiz melodramas. It pales, however, in comparison to the epic sweep of the long-delayed disc, easily Wilco's finest, if not their defining, moment. Frontman Jeff Tweedy has come a long way from his alt-country days and his time revisiting Woody Guthrie on Mermaid Avenue, and while Yankee Hotel Foxtrot hasn't abandoned those roots entirely -- the steel guitar-laden "Pot Kettle Black" proves that -- he has certainly forged a challenging path for his bandmates and Wilco's listeners. There's a latter-day psychedelic edge to these Brian Wilson-inspired songs, where Tweedy's yearning melodies are subjected to all manner of studio deconstruction, thanks in part to the mix by Chicago's visionary Jim O'Rourke. "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" couches a portrait of severe emotional breakdown beneath a dizzying number of sonic layers and distorted notes. Distortion plays a big part in other tunes: "Radio Cures" wraps Tweedy's vocal in plenty of snap-and-crackle, all but obliterating the pop structure. Ditto the hypnotic "Poor Places," which seethes with a distant but palpable ache. While the album is dominated by dark tones, there are moments of sweetness and light as well. The brassy "I'm the Man That Loves You" fuses country and soul in a decidedly late-'60s manner, with Tweedy radiantly declaiming undying love in every verse. He's equally enamored on the nostalgic "Heavy Metal Drummer": "I miss the innocence I've known/Playing Kiss covers/Beautiful and stoned," he sings. Wilco go a long way toward recapturing innocent thrills here -- and not just because they pissed off their record company and scored great reviews. The adventurous sounds of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are what moves this bunch. They will move you, too.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/2002
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597966923
catalogNumber: 79669
Rank: 26228


  1. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
  2. Kamera
  3. Radio Cure
  4. War on War
  5. Jesus, etc.
  6. Ashes of American Flags
  7. Heavy Metal Drummer
  8. I'm The Man Who Loves You
  9. Pot Kettle Black
  10. Poor Places
  11. Reservations

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