Summerteeth (CD)


Wilco

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Amoeba Review

This 1999 record probably marks the spot where Wilco’s music began to split its fans into before-and-after factions. Evolving from the straight twang rock of A.M. and the classic rock primer Being There (and the live-to-tape feel that characterized both), Jeff Tweedy and company make the studio a full partner with Summerteeth. The opening dance-rock number “Can’t Stand It” signals the huge sonic shift, layers and layers of synths, keyboards, church bells, and guitars creating a Phil Spector-like wash of sound that permeates the whole record. The late Jay Bennett, who’d joined the band full-time for Being There, was a big proponent of studio gadgetry, and though they would later split over the recording of the next Wilco record, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, for now Tweedy and Bennett were on the same page. Even songs with pure pop as their baseline – “I’m Always In Love,” “Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway(again)“ and the Beach Boys-like “Candyfloss” -- are slathered in so many synth textures they morph into hazy, drugged-out symphonies. That matches the darker, more disturbing themes Tweedy was exploring lyrically with these songs. He generated controversy with lines like “she begs me not to hit her” from “She’s a Jar,” “I dreamed about killing you again last night and it felt alright to me” from “Via Chicago,” and the “something in my veins/bloodier than blood” shooting up reference in “A Shot In the Arm.” Tweedy wound up in rehab a few years later, and you can hear the casual drug use in A.M. and Being There beginning to take a toll here, nowhere more obviously than on the desperately wistful “How To Fight Loneliness” when he sings “the first thing that you want/will be the last thing you ever need.” And that’s Summerteeth in a nutshell – wild swings between the highs of hyperactive rock songs and the increasingly low lows of loneliness, isolation and depression, making for a compelling, but sometimes difficult, listening experience.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Can't Stand It
Wilco 03:46
2.
She's a Jar
Wilco 04:43
3.
A Shot in the Arm
Wilco 04:19
4.
We're Just Friends
Wilco 02:44
5.
I'm Always in Love
Wilco 03:41
6.
Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(Again)
Wilco 03:20
7.
Pieholden Suite
Wilco 03:26
8.
How to Fight Loneliness
Wilco 03:53
9.
Via Chicago
Wilco 05:33
10.
ELT
Wilco 03:46
11.
My Darling
Wilco 03:38
12.
When You Wake Up Feeling Old
Wilco 03:56
13.
Summer Teeth
Wilco 03:21
14.
In a Future Age
Wilco 02:57
15.
[Silence]
Wilco 00:22
16.
Candyfloss [Hidden Bonus Track]
Wilco 02:57
17.
A Shot in the Arm [Remix] [Hidden Bonus Track]
Wilco 03:54

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