12 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Nochumplovesucker ,

Masterpiece

Jim rourke + wilco = pissing golden musical excellence!!! This is my favorite wilco album and I enjoy them all. Buy it, it's great!

BrianSwaldi ,

Typical Wilco: 1/2 Classic and 1/2 Pretentious Garbage

I've had a long and roller-coaster-like relationship with my affinty for this band. I've hated them for pretentious and and grating guitars, then loved everything that they did. Ear-bleeding distortion and all. Now, almost 10 years into listening to them, I still love many of their songs. But i can no longer abide the rambling, slow, pretentious and purposely grating guitars in many of their songs anymore. I now delete them and stop making excuses to fit them into my library.

This band is the ultimate tease. They have given me several of the top 10 best songs of all time and some of the worst throwaway songs i've ever heard. Tweedy's vocals are some of the best I've heard and they are capable of making truly brilliant music when they aren't ruining it with pretentious guitars. When they play straight and give us rock or folk tunes with the pretense dialed down they are one of the best bands of all time.

I wish they wouldn't shy away from folk like they do. I remember seeing Jay Bennett say on one of their movies that "if you aren't careful, everything becomes a folk tune." What's wrong with that? So that proves that they purposely endeavor to add that pretentious distortion to distinguish themselves more from folk artists. So all the garbage heaped on top of their brilliant musical skills is their effort to avoid folk. I just wish they wouldn't. Simple songs like The Thanks I Get or rock songs like Monday are Wilco at their best.

The first four songs this album are great examples of the worst side of Wilco. On these songs I can't hear the music over the sound of Tweedy and the band thinking they are brilliant. That pretentious self-back-pat is pretty loud afterall. Spiders is a microcosm of Wilco's entire catalog. Random and awful guitars and mumbles with little pockets of awesome in between. Life is too short and my IPod's memory is too finite to seek out pockets of awesome.

Then you have songs like Hummingbird and Handshake which are just pure Wilco goodness. Handshake itself is a near perfect song. It's one of the coolest songs in their entire catalog and i can't help but wonder why we can't have more songs like this on this album. Not copies of it, but more breezy and simple songs with less distortion and pretense. Unfortunately, like alway with Wilco, I had to end the song early because of the long and drawn out distotion section at the end that i just don't need to hear. It took an otherwise solid 5 star tune and knocked it down to 4 stars. Another example of Wilco not being able to get out of the way of their own egos and Tweedy's Sonic Youth fandom which drags down so many Wilco songs and albums and prevents them from being the best band ever.

Why would I want my music to have songs with guitars that make me cringe? Though incredibly talented, Nils is most often a blight on an otherwise perfect band. In fact, i usually have to seek out solo Tweedy recordings to find versions of Wilco songs played the way i want them. When you strip away the pretense you have perfection and that's usually what you get from a Nils-less rendition of the songs.

Overall there are two 4 star songs (Handshake and Hummingbird), four 3 star songs, one 2 star song and the rest are throwaways.

Chloe Stargazer ,

Heartbreaakingly good

As much as I love YHF, I have to say that A Ghost is Born is ultimately the more mature album. This is their magnum opus. The catchy guitar riff in "Kidsmoke", catchy lyrics of "Company in My Back", the heartbreaking quietness of "At Least That's What You Said" before it breaks into noisy guitar mastery. This is what defines Wilco. While no individual song is as painfully good as, say "I am Trying to Break Your Heart" from YHF or "Via Chicago" from Summerteeth, the wandering forays into noisy, distorted solos and the poignant songwriting make AGIB one of the best albums I've ever heard. I loved it when I was 6 and it first came out and my dad would put it on in the car and I love it now too, especially that I have the ability to appreciate the complexity and the fine details that make this album epic.

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