CD Review: Wilco

The Whole Love (dBpm)

You can't really trust this supposed return to form from a band that has gotten a free pass for the past decade. Even though the cacophonous "Art of Almost" holds its own for a seven-minute opener — dig that thrashing Frippertronic ending — the organ-fronted "I Might," swaggering "Standing O," and sleazily lovely "Open Mind" could be considered hooky if only you could remember them in the morning. Unfortunately, the snoozy "One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)" is longer than all three put together. That's one of several long, slow stretches of broad strokes found on Wilco's eighth album. The Whole Love evaporates where even the least-interesting songs on 2009's Wilco (The Album) curled interestingly if you strained through the silence. You could throw out your back trying that trick here. — Dan Weiss