On July 16, Wilco quietly released their entire new album, “Star Wars” free on iTunes, Amazon, and their own website. The offer for a free download is only good for 30 days from last Thursday, which is August 13th. It is also available on YouTube. The album will be available on CD August 21 and vinyl November 27. Pre-order “Star Wars” on CD and vinyl at Wilco’s online store. Wilco states, “Consider it a gift from Wilco, or as Jeff calls it, “a jolt of joy: a fun surprise.” They go on to explain,
“We consider ourselves lucky to be in the position to give you this music free of charge, but we do so knowing not every band, label or studio can do the same. Much of the “music business” relies on physical sales to keep the lights on and the mics up. Without that support, well, it gets tougher and tougher to make it all work.”
They then go on to list a number of albums that they suggest you purchase to help the bands “keep the lights on.”
Starting with the nostalgic pop and crackle of an old vinyl album, “Star Wars” features eleven songs, starting with the Residents-influenced instrumental “EKG”, followed by “More,” which begs to become a late-night bar sing-along, and may even cause some spontaneous air-guitar. More… is the song that fans will slowly wave their hands in the air to at live concerts. Never wanting to make it too simple, the melodic tune ends with some serious Sonic Youth-style feedback.
“Random Name Generator” sounds like a song you have heard before but can’t quite place. There is a certain T-Rex feel to the vocals, then on “The Joke Explained” it is more reminiscent of Lou Reed. And is that John Lennon with Camper Van Beethoven playing backup on “Taste of the Ceiling?” Still, on most of the songs, they remain unchangeably, indefinably Wilco. Maybe that is the secret to Wilco’s popularity: sounding comfortably familiar while remaining fresh and experimental.
03 Random Name Generator
04 The Joke Explained
05 You Satellite
06 Taste the Ceiling
07 Pickled Ginger
08 Where Do I Begin
09 Cold Slope
10 King Of You