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  Listen Up! 5/1/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, May 1

Wilco, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," Nonesuch Records. Critically acclaimed for almost a year, downloaded thousands of times before release, this is the record that got Wilco kicked off their last label. I've gotta say, I understand why their label (was it Reprise? I don't remember) panicked. Without the hook of a corporation dumping them, this record might not have gotten half the praise it garnered. There are only a couple songs that stand out as sounding finished, let alone memorable. "Kamera," "Pot Kettle Black" and "I'm the Man Who Loves You" could have been b-sides around the time of "Summerteeth," while here they sound like masterpieces. Rather than tunes, Wilco relies heavily on atmosphere, on weird, albeit shiny arrangements. In that regard, this record isn't unpleasant to hear, but it sure doesn't invite lots of replays.

Stevie Wonder, "Original Musiquarium," Tamla Records. More brilliance from the 70s majesty of Stevie Wonder, when every groove he laid down, every melody he created, all turned into gold.

--Steve Pick



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