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TOL Pick: A Ghost Is Born
My pick this week is one of my favorite CDs: Wilco's A Ghost is Born. This fall, Wilco released one of the best albums of their career (and the year) with The Whole Love. But one of my favorite things about a band releasing a great new album is that it reminds you to go back and listen to all of their past work. So after playing their new disk time after time, I queued up Ghost on a car trip last weekend.
Favorite albums are inevitably full of your own personal history, so it's hard to talk about them objectively. But going back to that album reminded me that part of its brilliance is that it's just about the most emotive album I've ever heard. But those emotions aren't conveyed in the words and vocals; rather, Jeff Tweedy beckons them, like a charmed snake, from an inanimate instrument. His guitar sounds in turns worried, gleeful, heartbroken, ecstatic, neurotic, breezy, aimless, tortured, buoyant. Most musicians get lucky if they can hit just one of those.
Muzzle of Bees is a great place to start if you've never heard the album, but no one song can capture the breadth of the sounds in the 12 tracks.
And they're coming through Eugene and Portland in February!