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20 best albums of 2009: 18. Wilco - Wilco (The Album) - released June 30, 2009

Wilco must like keeping fans on their toes – the band constantly hurls curve balls every couple albums.

“Wilco (The Album)" is another of those curve balls.

“You Never Know” offers lush harmonies on the chorus similar to the “Summerteeth” era while “Bull Black Nova” recalls “Spiders (Kidsmoke.)" Both tracks show a rock-friendly attitude missing from the band's previous two albums.

The band plants tongue firmly in cheek with “Wilco (The Song),” showing the wry sense of humor so familiar to fans who have attended Wilco (The Concerts) over the years.

Front man JeffTweedy’s lyrical prowess continues to grow.

“Once I thought without a doubt/I had it all figured out,” from “Solitaire” shows a more mature and grounded songwriter.

Guitar freaks will be dismayed to hear less of Nels Cline’s angry and punchy six-string stabs, but it’s hard to argue with such a diverse and engaging album of quality songs.

Wilco has again shifted gears and while it may not be what fans expected, “Wilco (The Album)” does offer some gems.



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