Wilco Album Review – “Schmilco”


Dan Carmichael, Staff Writer

Schmilco – Wilco

“Schmilco” is the tenth studio album released by Wilco, a six-man band that was formed in 1994 out of Chicago, Illinois.

Since their formation, members have since left and new ones was have come around to fill their places. By 2005, the band has had the same six members as they have now. Over that time, six other members have been a part of the group. In their 12 years of performing, only two members, Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt have remained constant members.

The band has a calming sound but your main focus should be the lyrics when listening to them. That much can definitely be said for this, their newest album. “Schmilco” is quiet but it is by no means intended to be used as background music.

Through my first listen, I paid little attention to what was actually happening and let it play in the background. In my second listen, I realized that I needed to just sit down and let it play. I will say, for someone expecting a little more upbeat music, this may be boring for you to even try to listen to. You can find small tendencies of folk music behind their typical alternative rock sound.

This sound is so hard to actually describe. It is raw but very clean. I say it is raw because they have taken their usual sound and driven down any bit of aggression they had. It is bare. However, it is still very clean. With every note hit, whether it be from guitar or vocals, it feels smooth.

Only on their song “Locator” do you feel some more pent up aggression. The music is much faster paced on this track. Almost to the extent that it does not really fit into the rest of the album. As someone who tries to find meaning in things, I feel like they put this in the album because they are sharing their feelings and everyone eventually loses it and has to let out a yell from inside. This track was their “yell.”

Wilco will be finishing out their month of September playing four shows in California and then hitting the air for the rest of their “World Tour.” Throughout the Summer, the band has been all across the United States and played shows at music festivals in places like Poland, Italy and Japan. While their tour was a little shorter in the U.S. than people would have liked, with the release of a new album, I can definitely see them traveling back through the states to promote “Schmilco.”

If you are a festival goer, expect them to be at some of the bigger ones like Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza. It is not guaranteed that they will be at all of them, but they should be at some of them.

Average Critic Rating: 81/100

My Rating: 80/100