The Whole Love by Wilco

The Whole Love is album number eight for Chicago’s Wilco. Having taken a break for the latter half of 2010 from 15 years of incessant touring, the band returned to the studio thoroughly energised and armed with enough songs for two albums. It would seem the break has done them good; the result is 12 stunning songs which cement Jeff Tweedy and co.’s place as the finest working American band today. The record is bookended by two epics. Seven-minute opener ‘Art of Almost’ sets a driving pace, while the closing ‘One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)’ is 12 minutes of Wilco at their most meditative. In between we are treated to acoustic balladry, rockers and pop, from a band at the peak of their powers. In a word… well, Wilco are the kind of band who can frequently leave a listener speechless and grasping for superlatives.

Declan Murphy is from Readings St Kilda