Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


5.0
classic

Review

by Spec USER (44 Reviews)
November 21st, 2010 | 28 replies | 4,956 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You Won't Like It At First.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

A strange feeling of loneliness encases the listener immediately after pressing play on their cd player and beginning Wilco's landmark 2002 release, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. From first glance at the dull coloured apartment buildings on the albums cover to hearing the sense of defeat portrayed in vocalist Jeff Tweedy's voice, it simply brings you to another world. The desolate sonic palette from which the record is painted is not only a reflection on post 9-11 America, but also a thorough reflection on the difficulty the band faced at the time, both with themselves and their management. The band is often compared to Radiohead, though I only hear slight resemblances. Sure, the textbook "Radiohead ambiance" is there, along with the occasional discordance, but once you hear it the differences are made obvious.

Now most people already know what the bands issues were during the making of the album but if not, let me fill you in.

Wilco gave their label “Reprise Records” the recordings for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Keep in mind that at the time, Wilco was a highly respected artist and were a real money-earner for the label. They were playing sold out shows and selling albums.

Regardless, Reprise was unimpressed.

Upper management asked Tweedy to make some changes in the songs so that they would be more “radio friendly” and appeal to a larger audience. Tweedy quickly declined saying the album was done and he didn’t want to make changes to it. In the end, Reprise dropped Wilco from the label but still let them keep the album that they thought wouldn’t sell.
Amidst all of this chaos it was reported on August 14 that Jay Bennett left Wilco, the only explanation being "creative differences."

Wilco then chose to stream the album in it’s entirety over the internet, a subject that is still controversial today and it received a very positive reception from fans and critics alike.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

The album opens with “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” which makes the bands change in sound obvious right from the get-go. The track is nearly seven minutes long yet, doesn’t seem to drag on. After starting out with some nice organ sounds and intermittent percussion, a guitar and bass enter the fray, and eventually the track builds to include piano, and all kinds of other strange percussion sounds, eventually rambling out to a shimmering ending. The band keeps things interesting with the next sing along track “Kamera.” Then slows things back down with the experimental and epic “Radio Cure.”
The album in it’s entirety seems to follow the same mood throughout but manages to prevent the songs from sounding the same. “Ashes Of American Flags” is a highly emotional track that still maintains the odd, creepy background noises. The group comes back with more experimental pop-rock tracks like "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "War On War," while "Jesus, etc" swaggers along with a funky rhythm section, some nice organ sounds, and string quartet. They also manage to rock out with the track "I'm The Man Who Loves You."
The album is basically a well crafted, rainy day soundtrack.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is nothing less than a classic for modern rock music. It’s rare to come across an album that holds so much originality and creativity along with emotion and instrumentation. It’s true, the songs would be difficult to play on the radio (no singles were ever released) but if you give it a chance, the album is sure to grow on you.



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user ratings (1060)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I made some changes and am overall pretty happy with this. Hope my comrades on SputnikMusic approve.

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

Drunk
November 21st 2010



229 Comments


Just negged all your reviews

Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well looks like I need to go vent to UG again.

Jash
November 21st 2010



4244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is the best song they've ever done imo. this album is really good, if i were a rep at Reprise when they gave me the tapes for this i would have been amped

Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Maybe reprise just didn't give it a chance to grow on them either!

DoubtGin
November 21st 2010



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my rating is too low

Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

We all like different music so you're rating is just fine haha.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2010



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only Wilco I've heard is Wilco (The Album) and I really didn't like it so I'm skeptical for this one....

Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You should check out pretty much any album other than that. It's good don't get me wrong but definitely not their best work.

Maybe start off with Summerteeth or Sky Blue Sky. They're easier to get into.

KeithStone582
November 21st 2010



1480 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album requires a lot of concentration, and it pays off.

couldwinarabbit
November 21st 2010



6996 Comments


this album is about the longest it ever took me to get into an indie album but it is in the top 10.

SoapySoap
November 21st 2010



865 Comments


Radio Cure got me to want to hear this album. The sound of that ominous piano makes it sound so powerful despite being the softest song on this album.

TheBoss88
November 21st 2010



208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is really great, but in no way did I find this hard to get into.

Spec
November 21st 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beauty.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 22nd 2010



10592 Comments


You Won't Like It At First.


God awful way to open up what is otherwise a rather fantastic review.
Pos.

conradtao
Emeritus
November 22nd 2010



2090 Comments


This needs some serious proofreading.

"Wilco then chose to stream the album in it’s entirety over the internet"
"The track is nearly seven minutes long yet, doesn’t seem to drag on."
"The band keeps things interesting with the next sing along track “Kamera.” Then slows things back down with the experimental and epic “Radio Cure.”"

You make good points, but the review reads awkwardly. Also, is there a legitimate reason for randomly stating the title of the album in the middle of your review?

Spec
November 22nd 2010



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nah man, I just thought I would put it there and see if anyone noticed.

Enotron
November 22nd 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i actually liked the summary

FuckedUp
December 20th 2010



151 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Actually dig the summary.

Aspenshadow
January 25th 2011



306 Comments


Summary is good because it's true.



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