Album Review: Wilco- Ode to Joy

Wilco- Ode to Joy Album Cover

Image Source: Pitchfork

Alejandro Hirsch Saed

Wilco- Ode To Joy (dBpm)

Folky, grounded, elegant. Wilco shows off their ability to deliver a mature, simple album, with complex deep lyrics. It’s an ode to all aspects of love, from its beauty to its fragility. The album proves that Jeff Tweedy is better when he’s accompanied by his bandmates, and that Wilco will probably deliver amazing music forever.

The sound reminds of Neil Young’s On The Beach, as the songs wander yet by the end the album finds meaning in itself. The lyrics strike in a way only Jeff Tweedy can deliver them. He is whispering, using his childish high-toned voice to contrast the bass line and supplement both the acoustic and electric guitars. The greatest moments of the album are in Quiet Amplifier and Love is Everywhere (Beware), however it has no low points, showing off the band’s maturity and talent.

The album transforms from nostalgic to encouraging and motivating. It is a multidimensional Lp, with the acoustic guitar bringing the most emotional, nostalgic moments, while the electric guitars bring out the joy in the album. And it is an Ode to Joy, a journey through Wilco’s complicated, existential music, that resonates with a generation that’s lost, yet resilient, that deals with sadness, yet is still looking to find happiness and love.

It exploits the potential of folky rock, not only at a musical level but at a poetic one. It is experimental, but simple; complex, but digestible; and gloomy, but uplifting. Moreover, it highlights Wilco’s ability to bring a timely relevant album years after their peak. While the album will probably attract Wilco’s regular fanbase of Gen X and millennials, it should definitely get the attention of Gen Z. It’s an Ode to Joy for a time where love is difficult to find, where news and politics attempt to block our ability to feel joy. We might be living in gloomy times, but at least we have Wilco to remind us that there is a path for happiness. Just for that reason the album is necessary and perfect.


RIYL: Neil Young, Bon Iver (early), Yo La Tengo.

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