I fell in love with Sky Blue Sky from the second the needle hit the wax. This shouldn't come as a surprise as Wilco has been one of the only bands I've consistently listened to for the past 11 years. Like telling someone you love them, one must be both cautious and full of conviction when deciding a band is your favorite, as they could easily break your heart with a string of shitty records. And after years of toiling over the question, I couldn't be happier that I dubbed Wilco "My Favorite Band." For me, with Wilco, it just felt right. And it still does. Growing up with Wilco has been like having a best friend who always understands, regardless of the problem. You put the record on, and suddenly all other concerns are drowned out, and everything is a-ok.
With that in mind I was quite miffed about some of the negative press Sky Blue Sky (someone called it "Dad Rock") received for not being Yankee Hotel Foxtrot II. As far as I'm concerned, the past is the past. Why remake what you've already mastered, when you can move on into uncharted territory. There is no doubt in my mind that they have stayed true to their artistic vision but more importantly, it feels as if they've finally found a home, not just a house, but a comfortable space for all the subtle nuances of their sound, where everything is in its right place. Anyway Sky Blue Sky is an incredible record and this description, from You Ain't No Picasso, sums it up perfectly. "Dad Rock" never sounded this good:
The best / weirdest thing about Sky Blue Sky is that for all its melancholy ways, it still manages to be downright uplifting. If you ever find yourself in need of a mix tape to explain life lessons to a child, or carry an inspiring message to someone hurting, you can fill your cup at Wilco’s well. “What Light” and “Either Way” carry a truth we pick up as kids, but seem to need to relearn at every turn as adults: soldier on. Bad things happen, but you pick yourself up and carry on.
Having a tough time? No need for a shrink, just buy Sky Blue Sky.
"What Light" live from the Loft