Archive for January 2nd, 2009


Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Friday, January 2, 2009
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

I have to be honest here – it took me a long time to come around to loving this album. I stole it from the Iowa City Library. By stole, I mean checked it out and ripped in onto my computer. Where it stayed for six odd months, collecting cyberdust.

I stole a lot of music from that beloved library, which acted more as a video or music store than a place to enlighten one’s mind with books. Seriously, everyone who went there was either checking out music or a movie. But I digress. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

I don’t really know what the title means, but the album cover is pretty cool, half the reason I had to “steal” it. I assume it’s a photo of the said hotel. But the lyrics and music are catchy, dark, and like nothing I have ever heard before. Mind, I got this album a year or so ago. Since then, I’ve collected the rest of Wilco’s discography, which, oddly enough, is collecting cyberdust as I write this. Poor Wilco! You deserve better.

They really do, because they are amazing. I now love Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is like the girlfriend you don’t really like at first but after a while you stick with her because you know you can’t do any better. That’s a terrible analogy. Rather, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is like going out on a date three times with the same girl and not being too impressed because she seems a little dark and strange. But on the fourth time, you’re eyes are magically opened to her rare kind of beauty that is all but conventional – and you keep coming back  to discover more and more niches and crannies of her thick and intricate soul.

Enough of my terrible analogies. Songs I love: “Jesus Etc.,” “Ashes of American Flags,” “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” and “Radio Cure.” All are truly heartfelt – in true country fashion these songs pull at your heartstrings with every line and chord change. Warm, yet dark. I know Wilco aren’t really “country,” but like good country, they pull off the heart-tugging effect masterfully.

I’ve heard Wilco called “America’s response to Radiohead.” Well…I’m not too sure about that. I don’t see it, except maybe both use electronica in their respective genres. So do a whole lot of other bands. Go figure.

In a similar vein, I’ve heard the electronica often turns people off of Wilco, and in particular, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Well, those people are stupid. This album is not.