A Ghost Is Born by Wilco


With an album like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, I was beckoned to their next, more successful, studio album. I covered most of the bands history up until their last album, but the two years between releases were not so uneventful as you might imagine. After the band let go of Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy began to occupy the lead guitar position more. Thus, really helped to evolve their sound on this record and future ones.

In the time before YHF was released, Tweedy set up to help Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 record an album. The recording was meant to happen on September 11th, 2001; however, due to the attacks in New York, the two were reluctant. Later in the day, they finally got to recording, wanting to “create good in the world” said McCaughey. 

Tweedy wanted to distinguish themselves from jam bands and have a unique sound. On this album, the group also took advantage of audio mixing software, Pro Tools, to compose the music before recording it live. At the time of recording, Tweedy was addicted to pain killers which often gave him migraines. Less Than You Think is the albums 15 minute long ballad which starts with a three minute introspective on religion and the human soul. The rest begins with droning of electronic noise meant to mimic his migraines. This track alone is unappealing, but Tweedy argues it should be there, and I agree. It adds a personal touch that brings you closer to the band. It’s raw, feels unfinished, unwanted, like ones insecurities and flaws. In a way, it’s a mirror, reflecting back yourself and the musicians. But let’s be honest, this isn’t what won this album two Grammys, more than any of their other work, or the acclaim of nearly every review agency. It’s a complete package of what they feel, what we feel, and what sounds good.

It’s on a double LP again, so you’re not missing out on that vinyl goodness. As last time, solid choice going with soft plastic inner sleeves. As for the outer jacket, it’s missing the egg that’s on the official cover, and in its place a nest.

As always, shop locally and enjoy the music.

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