It seems like it’s been ages since I did that Wilco Retrospecticus, doesn’t it? Well despite the fact that this album’s been out for a while, I don’t feel like I have a ton to say about it since I don’t really find Wilco to be the funnest band to write about. Still, The Whole Love does mark a noteable point in Wilco’s career, as it sees the band coming full circle in more ways than one.
The Whole Love marks the first release on Wilco’s own label, dBpm, which kind of just seems like a logical step in Wilco’s career considering their well-known disputes with record labels. So with this new sense of freedom, does that mean that Wilco have vied to go in the more radical and experimental direction that marked their earlier music? Well for the most part, yeah. The Whole Love features quite a bit of the more unpredictable moments that made albums like Being There and Summerteeth so enjoyable.
And though there is a considerable amount of sonic noodling on The Whole Love, at the same time Wilco often seems like it’s still in that same breezy comfort zone that it was in on Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album). For the most part that totally works in the album’s favor, as the more upbeat songs like “I Might” and “Standing” are among the most infectious songs the band has done in a while. And even some of ballads have that great Americana-inspired quality that captures a lot of that old Wilco magic. So who knows, maybe the band will continue to pursue their more eclectic roots, but for now it’s just nice to hear a veteran band challenging themselves while still sounding comfortable in their own skin.
Favorite Tracks: “I Might”, “Dawned On Me”, “The Whole Love”