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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 February 2002
Wilco's previous double album 'Being There', with its magpie-like borrowing from country, rock and roll and the blues, topped many critical polls and won the group a new wave of followers. Their response to this increase in popularity was to push the template out further with Summerteeth. Less country influenced, less bluesy, and more of a "conventional" rock album, Summerteeth is by turns uplifting, moving and inspiring. Replacing the acoustic guitars with effects pedals and keyboard effects, this album's musical palette is broad and at times experimental. That said, the sonic trickery never once interferes with the bedrock of quality songwriting that holds this wonderful collection together.
Jeff Tweedy's voice has never sounded more sincere or close to breaking, while the songwriting partnership of Tweedy and Jay Bennett seems to conjure songs that perfectly suit both the band's musical abilities and their lyrical preoccupations. There is nothing approaching a bad track on the album, and even the unlisted bonus tracks (Candyfloss, and an alternate take of Shot In The Arm) are of the highest quality. If 'Being There' displayed Wilco's affection for all things past, Summerteeth shows that they have the ability to record timeless rock music that owes nothing to anybody but themselves.
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on 25 August 2006
This, the bands third album, is by far and away their best to date. Following on from the more rootsy Being There, and their disappointing debut A.M, Jeff Tweedy and co came up with the perfect album.

A dreamy blend of the Beach Boys' summer-esque pop, the perfect melodies of the Beatles, a hint of 60's psychadelia and still that ocassional nod toward Gram Parsons' country noodlings. This is just perfect from start to finish.

Each track drips with perfection. From the acoustic wonder of "Shes a Jar" the country style pop of "ELT" and the vicious "Via Chicago" it just doesnt get any better than this.
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on 9 March 2012
I love this album. It is, with the possible exception of AM, their most consistent LP - not a single duff track. It is filled with British Invasion era pop-sensibilities that they've struggled to find (consistently) with subsequent releases.

As stated above, there genuinely isn't any filler present on this disc, which makes it very difficult to single out standout tracks but here goes... Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway, Can't stand it (in spite of it's unbelievable use in a Ford commercial), She's a jar, and (of course) Shot in the arm - the latter still powerfully resonant twelve years later.

If you're starting your Wilco collection buy this album first, then the sublime Being There and then AM; everything else by Wilco is optional. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2012
Wilco's third album almost completely lost that country twang making them sound (at the time) like a very experimental rock group. The album's complicated arrangements include some bizarrely cheesy keyboard sounds and "Leaving Chicago" includes a screaming guitar solo that initially sounds totally ham fisted but the more you listen to the words of the song it does kind of fit. "She's a Jar" is like a quirky love song until the killer last line "You know she begs me not to hit her" turns it on its head. There are some beautiful melodies here and the depth and variety of the song writing is particularly impressive.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2006
Arguably the band's best album, this third Wilco album was released in 1999, in between the sprawling Being There and the lauded Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Since the latter's success, Summerteeth has been somewhat eclipsed.

It deserves better. Having apparently starting listening to the Beach Boys, Jeff Tweedy wrote fifteen borderline-pastiches, featuring summery synth lines, blissed-out vocal harmonies and only a smidgeon of the band's trademark experimentation. 'She's A Jar,' a fan favourite to this day, is one of their best ballads; 'Via Chicago' is almost as tender but for the occasional blasts of noise that reside within; 'I Can't Stand It' is one of the best album openers I've ever heard, but against the rest of Wilco's openers - 'Misunderstood,' 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,' 'At Least that's What You Said,' - it has stiff competition.

This more straight, poppier album is often ignored or bashed when compared to Wilco's more experimental works; this is a mistake. This album is just as essential as the rest of the band's albums.
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on 20 August 2009
With Summerteeth Wilco plugged into a whole new jukebox, leaving behind the roots rock and Americana of old for a shiny new pop sound that has little to do with 'alt-country' of any description.

The retro elements here: Beatles-esque songwriting, Brian Wilson-esque harmonies, Phil Spector-esque production; combine with formative indications of the soundscaping they would really dive into on their next two records; using treated drums, synth effects and feedback to produce a record that sounds simultaneously classic and futuristic, ancient and modern.

Jeff Tweedy really comes into his own as a lyricist here, offsetting these summery, shimmering melodies with his darkest, most confessional lyrics to date to create a dissonance that is truly unsettling. His willingness to speak the unspeakable, ("She begs me not to hit her", "I dreamt about killing you again last night") combines with a writerly eye for detail ("The ashtray says you were up all night") and a deeply humane rendering of regret to add up to what I think is his best collection of writing to date.

Summerteeth stands alone in the Wilco catalogue in that no other album sounds quite it, although anyone checking it out after enjoying anything from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to Wilco (the album) will find it less of a jump than anyone coming from the Uncle Tupelo to Being There direction.
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just have a little time to write this review, while i take a break from thesis-writing!

this album is stunning! best thing i've heard in ages. got the album from a recommendation on this page, and i want to echo his/her sentiments. this is only my second listen and the best tracks are already etched in my memory.

the album is a splendid mix of bowie, arcade fire, fountains of wayne and weezer. some of the tunes are so catchy its scary. it's one of those albums when you double-take and think to yourself, you have hit musical gold!

just buy it, play it loud on a good hi-fi and just enjoy!
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I had first heard of Wilco the year before this release when they collaborated with Billy Bragg on his Woody Guthrie project `Mermaid Avenue' and was so impressed by their contribution that when `Summerteeth' was released I put my money where Jeff Tweedy's mouth was and bought the album.

The album starts brightly enough with `Can't Stand It' which is the most upbeat composition and production on the album. The pack flags slightly with `She's a Jar' but then `A Shot in the Arm' is just that, keeping the album moving here and also acts as the album coda a further version being buried at the end of the playlist with other "secret" track `Candyfloss'.

The album continues in a pretty consistent vein from `We're Just Friends' which with `I'm Always in Love' (the greatest song on the album), `How to Fight Loneliness', `ELT' and `My Darling' being the most obvious sequences in what is very much a song cycle about the collapse of Tweedy's marriage.

Started before and completed after `Mermaid Avenue' `Summerteeth' is a wonderful record in it's own right but unfortunately although Jeff Tweedy is a great songwriter in his own right he is not as an accomplished songwriter as Woody Guthrie or even Billy Bragg and so the album does compare unfavourably with the bands previous release.
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on 25 August 2000
sumerteeth sees wilco releasing the bands best album to date,and one of the top 5 albums of the 90,s.bigger production values,stylish hook driven songs,[check out shot in the arm],languid ballads ,great value as well at over 60 mins every miniute agem to savour,gram parsons would have loved it.dont let the alt country tag that the press have given them put you off ,this is one for every one,a wonderful recording one to treasure.
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on 12 January 2000
Well, it should have been. If you missed out on this, be prepared for a treat. And if you know about Wilco because of the Billy Bragg connection, this is even better than Mermaid Avenue. A superb collection of songs in the jangly-country-guitar American way of doing things, but Wilco add something all their own (did I hear a Mellotron for the first time in 20 years?). The Mercury Rev of 1999.
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