‘Ode to Joy’
Released: Oct. 4
Label: dBpm Records
From the opening beats of the first song on Wilco’s latest album “Ode to Joy,” it’s clear this is a record driven by drummer Glenn Kotche.
Setting a one-two march-like beat on “Bright Leaves,” Kotche drives the song and ultimately the record forward as lead singer Jeff Tweedy’s vocals and lyrics explore familiar themes of loss, pain, exhaustion and yes, even joy.
It’s a more understated minimalistic musical approach for Wilco on its 11th record. Acoustic instruments and subtly sung vocals win out over howling guitars and anthem rock choruses.
On “Love is Everywhere (Beware),” Tweedy strikes a cautionary pose about being too accepting of the love that surrounds us, while also welcoming it. And on “Everyone Hides,” Kotche drives an infectious beat and memorable melody.
Key cuts: “Bright Leaves,” “Love is Everywhere (Beware)”
— Scott Bauer, The associated Press