As a fan-bordering-fanatic; I'm entitled a few quibbles with Wilco's new release. So here you go.
1) The stupid cover art. It's a first for Wilco that an actual full photograph is used for the cover, and it's an incredibly dumb one. As is the typeface.
2) It's pretentious title. Wilco (The Album). Not just a self titled release, it's specifically: "Wilco (The Album)." It makes the bile rise a little ...
3) It's pretentious, self-aggrandizing track 1, named simply: "Wilco."
4) The bevy of "borrowed" licks. Is that "Werewolves of London" ("Wilco")? How about "Every Day People" ("You Never Know")? A true sign that a strong influence of Nels' "experience" is, indeed, too much of a good thing.
5) Jesus, Tweedy. I thought you kicked your addiction and were onto sunnier days. What's with all the ballads?
6) Yes, I even have a problem with the collaboration with Feist ("You and I"). It's a good song, don't get me wrong, but Tweedy always saved "celebrity" collaborations for his side projects (see also: Golden Smog). Wilco was always his creative stronghold; this departure from that stance makes me fear for the future. Specifically, Jeff beginning to "phone in" his career because he's too lazy/busy/wants the commercial attention. This song screams "radio friendly." I have no problem with Wilco attaining commercial success like it did with Sky Blue Sky, because -- true or not -- that felt at least acccidental; this new album's sound makes it feel like they're actually reaching in that direction. Horrifying.
7) "Bull Black Nova" just blows. It makes me want to stab someone!
8) The repetitive phrasing! In the music and lyrics. It's everywhere, all over this album, in every song; and it's horribly grating!
Still hoping it'll grow on me ... but man; this is A Ghost Is Born all over again. Thankfully, that one did eventually find its way in; but even then, not in its entirety.
Today, though, I'm really missing Jay Bennett. I think I'd rather retreat with my copies of Summerteeth and YHF for the summer and save the new arrival for fall; which is where the heart of the album seems to belong anyway.