Like a wide blue sky, Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky is relaxing and spacious. Also like a blue sky, when stared at too long, it gets to be a little boring.
Though long, Sky Blue Sky has some great tracks – especially impressive are the lead guitarirst’s almost progressive solos on the likes of “Impossible Germany” and “Side With the Seeds.”
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth, however, are definitely better. A Ghost is Born also seems better, but that doesn’t mean Sky Blue Sky is bad, it’s just not as good as those other two albums. While Summerteeth is an alt-country pop marvel, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a perfect blending of alt-country and sonic experimentation, and A Ghost is Born really ups the ante on experimentation, Sky Blue Sky returns to the pop format which makes Wilco so great in the first place. Though they are good at experimenting, they are even better at not going overboard and keeping the songs catchy.
But Sky Blue Sky has the misfortune of being front-loaded, and being long, it makes the whole album difficult to listen though in one sitting. After “Hate it Here,” it goes slowly downhill. The songs are still good, but it just seems gets old quickly. Maybe if I listened to each song individually, then I wouldn’t be so hard on the second side of the album.
Nevertheless, Wilco have done a good job with his album. I didn’t really get into them until about two years ago, and I guess when compared to other choice albums, I sometimes have to force myself to listen to this, hoping that someday, it will speak to me in the way other albums have.
I get to see them in concert June 16, which will be fun!