Wilco: Album by Album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Parachute Woman, May 11, 2020.

  1. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Definitely a Gram Parsons thing going on...makes me wonder if Stirrat has any side projects?

    Really pretty song and I think the different flavor the song brings the album is really welcome. Nice voice, too.
  2. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    He’s been releasing albums with Pat Sansone as The Autumn Defense for years. They have a very mellow seventies vibe and their albums are generally well produced.
  3. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity Thread Starter

    Next up:

    Should've Been in Love

    This one seems to be a bit forgotten about. I've read quite a few reviews of A.M. while we've been doing this and this song seems to barely warrant a mention for many folks. Honestly, this is actually one of the highlights of side two for me. I love the gentle, swaying riff and the sound of the dobro. I really love Jeff's voice here. It is so warm, sweet and empathetic. I especially love the way he phrases, "I know how it goes / So I just had to...(pause)...let you know I know." I also really like the lyric which seems to be one of the first Wilco songs to touch on mental health. 'You' certainly sounds like she's depressed and so focused on that depression that she can't see beyond it. I think this is a really sweet, sad song. A personal favorite for me.
    Rob P S, robcar, tulumdedoo and 9 others like this.
  4. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity Thread Starter

    Here's a lovely live version performed on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic on May 12, 1995:

    (Ignore the image, which is a much more recent picture of the band).
  5. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    It's just That Simple : except from the Gram/Burrito feel, I find it interesting that the first Wilco waltz would not be a Tweedy song, if you think of how many of those Jeff ended up writing!

    Should've been in Love : excellent song, the "gentle, swaying riff" is a spot on depiction, @Parachute Woman ! One quick observation : some of these early songs (Pick the Change, Box Full or this one) seem to be the template to which Tweedy went back for a number of tracks on Warm (especially Don't Forget and I Know What It's Like).
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Should've Been in Love
    This is a cool little track.
    To a degree I think the chorus lets it down a little, but not enough to dislike it.
    This is a breezy summery kind of song to me.
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    “You been dealing with all of these feelings
    Like they got you believing they have no meaning,
    But they do”

    A superb song that hits my 5-song max for the new, improved Wilco playlist. Nicely described by @Parachute Woman , I have nothing further to add.
  8. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al

    Should've Been In Love is another world-weary track that fits well on the album. It's not a personal favorite of mine but I always enjoy it when it's playing. That seems to be a theme of this album...
  9. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    I'm in for the ride. This is going to be an interesting journey for me in many ways.
    I'm not sure how I got into Uncle Tupelo - Wilco - Son Volt. I guess it must have been looking on from Steve Earle & The Jayhawks via No Depression.
    I'm not hugely familiar with the bands but I do own a lot of their CD's as I bought them mostly as used cd's or at sale prices.

    The fact that this is a thread about a 90's band t & seem's to have a lot of input from folks a lot younger than me is one of the other points of interest for me.

    Isn't it wonderful to have a woman & one that writes with such eloquence, like Parachute Woman in the driving seat.

    A thread that is already at 26 pages in just over a week ( I only discovered the thread today & I am only up to page 8 so far) & it's not about some 60's band. Wow.

    So thanks for starting & running the thread Parachute Woman I look forward to catching up & adding my 2 cents (being Aussie dollars not even worth that)
    WaterLemon, robcar, bonus and 5 others like this.
  10. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity Thread Starter

    Welcome aboard! I too am thrilled to see such thoughtful conversation from so many great folks about a band that started in the 1990s. :)
  11. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    Yes. I really agree. The thoughtful conversation is certainly a step or two up from the norm.
    You younguns are obviously smarter than we old people.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  12. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    wilco are/is a hard band for me to dissect, most likely why i have stayed out of this thread.

    i originally thought that uncle tupelo were the new buffalo springfield, with all those great offshoot bands (son volt, wilco, jayhawks, golden smog and all the solo stuff) loved loved loved the first 3 or 4 wilco albums, same as i loved the first few jayhawks albums, and those golden smog albums were great.

    i just don't know what happened, whether it was me, or the music or a combination of the two, but i have found the recent output of all the member parties mentioned above to be lacking in....something. i don't know what it is either. i thought i had a found small crack in new music that i was i really into, but alas, that has now gone away.
    Zeki likes this.
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Maybe just me, but I'm getting like a strong Paul Westerberg vibe from this: not a bad thing. There's such a matter-of-fact sad depth to this: sympathetic to pains of a someone with wild mood swings, yet also with an aching all it's own. The song is steeped in it. The song goes by fairly quickly, almost like a sixties song -- makes it's point and doesn't waste a second more. Good dobro playing, good singing; production sounds a bit demo-like, which doesn't matter because the star here is actually the song.

    Love it, 4.4/5
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  14. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    new york city
    Should've Been In Love -

    It's got the alt.country sound - when I first got the album in 1995 this song didn't stand out as being one of the best on the album but it fit the mold of what I thought the album was trying to be in fine enough form. Nowdays if I play AM, this song is one of those that sounds to me emblematic of this period of Wilco. Nothing special about it, IMO, but it very adequately does the thing that it seems like it's trying to do.

    I'll say at this point that, of the things that I like and value about Wilco, Jeff Tweedy's lyrics don't rank very aren't very high among them. It's not that I think of him as a particularly bad lyricist or anything, but the things that he's singing about and the manner in which they're expressed don't often register with me as being very important or memorable, and the general thing of "confessional" songwriting (which he often does) is definitely not something I'm very attuned to.

    I'm not a huge "lyrics person" to begin with - the primary reason why I get into bands is the music itself, So it's not all that common in general that an artist whereby I'm not too hooked on with the music, really draws me in with lyrics. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's not frequent. Musically, I think the music and vocals for this song do a decent job of creating a sound and establishing a mood that is right for the album, but the lyrics don't add a layer of meaningfulness for me.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  15. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Should've Been in Love"- No strong opinion on this one. It goes by without leaving much of an impression of any kind. A nice album track that falls in the same spot as many songs on this album. It's not great, but it's not bad. I'm not crazy about the "Your Life's Been Stinking" line. I'll give it a 2.5/5
  16. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    Should've Been In Love - One of my favorite songs on the album. My fellow commenters have covered it well.
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    An interesting viewpoint as Tweedy’s lyrics are a highlight for me.
  18. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity Thread Starter

    You and I come from opposite sides here. I am a very strong lyrics person. If I don't care about the words, I don't care about that particular artist. Jeff Tweedy's lyrics are a huge part of what I love about Wilco and I'll be commenting on them very frequently as we move through the albums. While I like lots of different kinds of lyrics (storytelling, abstract wordplay, etc.) my chief love and interest is confessional/personal/emotional lyric writing. Not every one of Jeff's songs is drawn directly from his own life, but his incredible amount of empathy is what really sets him apart as a lyricist in my mind. He can write a song like the one we are covering today and it doesn't seem to be a personal confession, but his care and understanding for the characters in the song is unbridled and clear.

    Among all of my favorite songwriters, I think Jeff Tweedy writes more strongly about mental health than almost any other writer I can think of. I think his own experiences with anxiety and panic disorders informs his capability to write about anxiety, depression and the unique and emotional struggles related to living with those things. This is a strong theme in his work starting right here on A.M. and going all the way to Ode to Joy last year. Not to put too fine a point on it, I personally struggle with depression and anxiety and Jeff's writing on these topics (both specifically and more obliquely), as well as his general empathy for others, has been extraordinarily helpful and deeply moving to me as a listener. I like music that is kind to me. Jeff Tweedy's writing is deeply kind.

    Add the truly beautiful and wondrous music and you've got a band that has truly mattered in my life. :)
  19. John C Bradley Jr

    John C Bradley Jr Forum Resident

    Columbia, SC
    "Should've Been in Love" is another solid song. So far, this record is incredibly consistent (and it will continue to be) for me. Lot's of solid "album" songs with some really nice highs (one of which we will be coming to shortly).
  20. tulumdedoo

    tulumdedoo Forum Resident

    In all the Tweedy-penned songs on AM thus far, he has addressed or centered on some "you" (almost always right out of the gate). This tune continues that trend. This pattern just occurred to me. Not being so self-centric is certainly a good way to draw in an audience. There were also clearly one or more muses at work as he wrote these songs.

    "You / always wanted more time"
    "Casino queen, / my lord, you're mean"*
    "'Got a box full of letters / 'think you might like to read, / some things that you might like to see"
    "To live without a savior, answer to his name / [you] shouldn't be afraid, [you] shouldn't be ashamed"
    "If it's just your heart talking, I don't mind / If you want to call me darling, that's just fine"
    "You're like a moon that's full"
    "You've got a problem, I think you know"
    "You've been dealing with all of these feelings"

    It's interesting because I have the impression (again, just pulling from my head at the moment...no data to back it up) that his lyrics might shift more toward the first person as the life of Wilco progresses.

    I like this song -- there's more of the conversational Tweedy poetics (internal rhyme, lack of obvious end-stopping/more of a talkative enjambment where lines bleed into the next) discussed previously. Sonically I like the bent guitar notes and maybe that is a harbinger of the playfulness that's to come.

    * = maybe the weakest example. Now that this thread has continued onward and I can reflect on how the songs work in concert, "Casino Queen" seems more of a fictive outlier than the other ones... Does that make sense?
  21. HenryH

    HenryH Forum Resident

    "It's Just That Simple"

    A neat, comfy little tune. I agree that it might have been interesting to have more songs written by Stirratt in their catalogue, but I suppose all bands have varying degrees of politics and circumstance. The fact that he remains as a key member of the band is essentially all it comes down to. Anyway, this track is certainly a highlight.

    "Should've Been In Love"

    Love this one. In certain ways it kind of defines this early period of the band for me. An easygoing, heartfelt sung performance by Jeff with that alt-country tinge carrying it along. Once again, I have to comment about how much I enjoy the quality of this recording, it adds such a warm presence to Jeff's voice.
  22. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Interesting contrast between you two. I must say that I'm more a music guy myself, like @NettleBed here. But even without paying too much attention to Jeff's lyrics, they come across through the music. Listening to his songs, I can feel the empathy, the mental health concerns and the overall kindness @Parachute Woman is referring to. I think it all lies in Jeff's phrasing, somehow. You understand what this guy means, you get his intentions, even if you don't actually pay too much attention to the actual meaning of the words themselves.
  23. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    Next to "I Thought I Held You", "Should've Been In Love" is my favorite song on the album. I love the sentiment here - there's something generous and empathetic here that touches me. Nice guitar sound that helps propel the song forward - it's not a fast song, but it still seems to move along with a good energy. The only negative for me is the phasing effect applied to the closing fade. I feel like the song deserved a better ending, rather than just limping off as it does.

    Great song that makes my list of Wilco's best.
  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Try to remember to take another look, later in the discography. It’ll be fun to see which way it shakes out.
    Edit: and, yeah, Casino Queen doesn’t fit
  25. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Positivity Thread Starter

    Very interesting post. Your comment about whether the lyrics became more first person as the discography deepened had me thinking. Just as a sample and a thought experiment, here are the very first lines of all the proper Wilco albums following A.M.:

    "When you're back in your old neighborhood / The cigarettes taste so good / But you're so misunderstood" (You)
    "The way things go / You get so low / Struggle to find your skin" (You)
    "I am an American aquarium drinker / I assassin down the avenue" (I)
    "When I sat down on the bed next to you / You started to cry" (You & I)
    "Maybe the sun will shine today / The clouds will blow away / Maybe I won't feel so afraid" (I)
    "Are you under the impression this isn't your life?" (You)
    "No! I froze / I can't be so" (I)
    "Come on listen to the wheel this way / I belong to the stars in the day" (I)
    "Remind myself, myself long ago / 'Fore I could drive, 'fore I could vote" (I)
    "I don't like the way you're treating me" (You & I)

    My inner world...your inner world...the connections we share with each other. I'd wager that both I and You are all through the Wilco discography. There isn't much of a difference between I and You anyway. :)

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