Yankee Hotel Foxtrot | Classic

Classic Albums Wilco

Having passed its 20th-anniversary last year, Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ remains an endearing rock release and a highlight from the 2000 American alternative movement.

One of the best things about the record is how understated it is. There are very few rock tropes used in any of the tracks here, the record remains quiet and subdued for the majority of its runtime. But it somehow cuts through its more placid aesthetics to craft a subtle masterpiece about human connection.

Even in its more radio friendly moments that sound like an attempt at a hit, the record manages to maintain a calm and poise to it. Just hear ‘Pot Kettle Black’ and ‘Heavy Metal Drummer’ for a starting point for the record's faster moments. The record tends to bounce between a subverted rock formula to glacial ballads like ‘Radio Cure’ or ‘Poor Places’.

It takes the sounds of Neil Young and throws in more instruments and more defined ideas. Our personal favourite is the slow burn opener, ‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ which gives a brief run-through of everything you can expect on the record as almost a mission statement for the record (that being America, Americans, Hotels, Love and Alcoholism).

It’s easy to take a record like this for granted due to the level of critical acclaim it has, but if you can move past its status, it is a thoughtfully crafted and layered release that uses musical textures and abstraction to build a real gem. Brooding, tasteful yet ever optimistic and sentimental, this beats out anything from the National for American Indie legend.

It’s a classic for a reason, just not for the reasons you’d expect.

‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ is available in the Store now.

#vinyl #wilco #yankeehotelfoxtrot

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