Episode 447: Wilco’s ‘Ode To Joy’

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2015’s Star Wars and its 2016 follow up Schmilco delivered a shot in the arm to one of indie-rock’s most lauded and revered acts: Wilco. Both were shaggier affairs then what had come before — 2011’s The Whole Love, while it had its moments, was a more near-miss-than-hit power-pop extravaganza. And both showed that, at least for Wilco, smaller albums necessarily meant better albums as the band pushed into its second decade with the current, and most stable lineup in Wilco’s history.

Enter Ode To Joy.

Taught, anxious, and sonically adventurous in ways Wilco hasn’t been since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, their latest LP is an exploration of the myriad of emotionally microscopic ways the fucked-up world of today affects us both individually and as a collective people. And while the light may still shine through the multitude of cracks in the darkness on Ode To Joy — after all…Wilco still loves you baby — the personal politics of justifiably freaking out are where Wilco’s latest ultimately burns the brightest.

Special guest Matt Dwyer joins us to discuss this essential work from a band that continues to surprise after a quarter century of breaking our hearts in all the best ways.

 

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