This disc is the musical equivalent of a Rorschach test. Some listeners may extract pro-social tidbits from its disjointed, languid, melancholy poetry. “The Late Greats” sympathizes with bands that never hit it big. “Theologians” accurately quotes Jesus in a fuzzy context, though it’s clear that …
The singer claims theologians know nothing about his soul. He also says he bought “Handshake Drugs” downtown. A man approached by the devil doesn’t hesitate to follow him (“Hell Is Chrome”). “Company in My Back” uses the expression “holy s—” six times. Love on the rocks leaves a man with a black eye (“At Least That’s What You Said”). Stray thoughts on “Wishful Thinking” and “Less Than You Think” sound despairing and nihilistic. On the former, the singer tells a woman to take off her dress.
Some acts get into a rut where every disc sounds the same. Not Wilco. This band lives to reinvent itself. But to what end? One desolate cut asks, “Is any song worth singing if it doesn’t help?” Good question.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.