Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Wilco: Wilco (The Album) [Nonesuch, 2009]
"Come on children, you're acting like children/Every generation thinks it's the end of the world," begins the candidly catchy centerpiece of these lost-and-found tradsters' best album. Not a sentiment likely to flatter up-and-going bloggerati who consider "boring" an objective descriptive. But having come through his drugs-and-romance travails as well as the departure if not death of most of his original sextet, Jeff Tweedy doesn't give a tweet. He's as proud as he always should have been of the reliable songcraft and affable singing presupposed by the lead "Wilco (the song)," which promises "dabblers in depression" that "Wilco will love you." There's more existential acceptance than existential despair in the embattled "I'll Fight" and the enlightened "Deeper Down." But that just makes the ones about apocalypse and murder seem earned--"Bull Black Nova" is disturbing like nothing in their pomo phase ever was. A-