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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My oh my, they've done it again
Having initially read some rather dismissive reviews, I bought this with mixed feelings. On the one hand I have great faith in Jeff Tweedy's way with a tune, but on the other hand I suspected that he was becoming somewhat uneasy with the critical acclaim accorded to the previous records, and wouldn't think twice about "doing a Kid A", thereby alienating half his fanbase...
Published on 6 Jan 2003 by Mr. C. D. A. Price

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars yjgkjgjkkkjg
As any faithful music listener will attest, there is a period between buying an album and giving up on an album. This can range from minutes to years depending on the context, and I feel Yankee Hotel Foxtrot's time has come, despite all the acclaim, intriguing label arguments and respect it is given by those I trust. Say, twelve months or so for this one; that's the time...
Published on 19 May 2008 by 77


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There aren't words to describe how good this album is, 30 Jun 2003
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
Given the crumpled distortion and radio-like crackling on parts of this album you could be forgiven for thinking that it's been beamed in from some distant part of the galaxy. In fact, I'm convinced that it has been. Surely real humans couldn't make an album this mind-blowingly awesome.
I had never listened to anything by Wilco or Jeff Tweedy before. Maybe that's why this album hit me as such a unique and innovative piece of work, but then again it may not be becuase by any standards both unique and innovative it is.
There are some decidedly poppy moments on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 'Heavy Metal Drummer' for example, but they are saved from being commercial or anodyne by the quality and originality of the instrumentation. Then there's the jarring, twisted, driven melody of 'I'm the man who loves you.' Pure class. It's the kind of high level pop that never makes it onto the radio, let alone the charts.
And then there's the other, subtler songs: slow, sprawling songs that build into subtle crescendos of melancholic beauty before trailing off into a gritty welter of sonic disruption. 'I am trying to break your heart' - one of the best, most atmospheric album openers ever - sets the standard for such broken, expressive music and the rest of the album lives up to it with uniform brilliance.
They are songs full of enjambment and slurs, the underlying distortion and feedback creating an aura that builds up into a soaring height that then cuts off in noise, crackling and sometimes nothing. The lyrics are poetical and slightly impenetrable in the way of a good REM song. Like a good REM song however they work in combination - when you listen to the songs you understand them on a semantic rather than acoustic level. It's the bitty, frustrated, half-articulated, imperfect reality of living.
It's impossible to do justice to in a review, but this album is truly a unique masterpiece. I can't recommend Yankee Hotel Foxtrot highly enough; it will enhance your life.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 8 July 2004
By 
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
I LOVE this album. Not much I can add that other people haven't said - the songs and arrangements are truely beautiful, with heavenly melodies rising from dissonant noise as the songs blend a fade in and out of one another.
The DVD "I am trying to break your heart" charts the difficult birth of this record, with their label refusing to put it out. This record was nearly never released.... as was Ryan Adams' "Love Is Hell". Makes you wonder what kind of idiots are running the music industry.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilco's latest and finest album., 31 Oct 2002
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This is an excellent double-vinyl issue of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: the album from 2001 that was released in 2002. It is also the album that Jeff Tweedy & co were working to- following debut AM (which was not that far from the world of Uncle Tupelo), Wilco made the ultimate country rock'n'roll album Being There. After that came the brilliant Mermaid Sessions with Billy Bragg, then 1998's more experimental Summer Teeth- which failed to turn them into REM, but showed a vast soundscape of Brian Wilson proportions developing. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is the result of this process.
Oh, there were casualties- most notably Tweedy's co-writer, producer and player, Jay Bennett (also drummer Ken Coomer)- then there was the dropping by one Warners affiliate, only to be picked up by another (Nonesuch- the home of Philip Glass). And then there is the documentary capturing all this due out soon- I am Trying to Break Your Heart.
But back to the songs, well having lived with this album for several months, I feel it is fair to call it a masterpiece. Every song is great- Tweedy and Bennett brilliant at composing the catchiest of pop songs (though the star of the album is Jim O'Rourke- who mixed it with the same degree of invention as his work with Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Tortoise and his own solo work- the latest release Insignificance featuring Tweedy on guitar).
I am Trying to Break Your Heart builds up from avant-garde noises, Cheever poetic lyrics to a catchy Can't Stand It tune, prior to moving into post-metal machine music noise. Kamera is a catchy acoustic shimmer, prior to the dark Radio Cure (reminds me of Scott Walker's Bouncer see Bouncer). Single War on War is as fantastic a pop song as Tweedy can make up there with Passenger Side, Say You Miss Me, Hoodoo Voodoo, Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway(again). Great when it descends into Neu! style sonics at the end, before giving way to the warm centrepiece of the album, Jesus Etc. This has to rank among one of Tweedy's warmest moments.
Ashes of American Flags drags us back to a perfect sonic maelstrom, sounding presient in these strange times. Heavy Metal Drummer opens like a drum'n'bass song before moving to Stephen Malkmus/Preston School of Industry territory- the lyrics reminding you of the characters in films like Dazed & Confused and Almost Famous. I'm the Man Who Loves You is the song Paul McCartney dreams of writing, in a parallel universe he weeps at this catchy genius. Pot Kettle Black is another jingly-jangly classic that reminds me of The Cure's Wish album (this is a good thing).
The final two songs are my favourite- Poor Places building on the style of songwriting evident in 1998's We're Just Friends, to an epic overload of piano and sonics- as a voice intones "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"- the white noise bursts sound especially wonderful extremely loud- this gives way to the epic finale Reservations- which sounds like Pink Floyd would if they'd had a soul. This is a similar terrain to the dreamy-futurism of The Flaming Lips, a song that could reasonably go on forever. Perfect moments...
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the great albums of this -or any- year and one that needs to be owned. You'll assassin down the avenue...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much mythologised for a reason., 23 Feb 2006
By 
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
(apologies to all, I appear to have mistakenly posted this on AM by accident.)
Wilco's fourth album is massive among indie circles. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, released in 2002, received forthing praise from the band's fans, and to this day is reproduced almost in its entirety at most recent live shows - only three of its songs are missing from their recent live album, Kicking Television. Staggeringly considering its critical and commerical success, the record label rejected it at first and put its release off for two years, leaving a four year gap between Yankee and previous release Summerteeth. The fools.
Mixed like a radio being retuned between songs, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a thrilling, experimental, ride. You can see why Nonesuch records would have originally rejected it - this is an album that takes at least four or five listens to get into; the more commercial moments on it, like Kamera, are the standouts on the first few listens. But once you get into it, you start to see the truly, staggering beauty on offer here. 'Radio Cure' is practically interminable for the first three minutes before cracking into a gorgeous, chiming line. 'Poor Places' boasts stellar drums and yet more lump-in-the-throat inducing glissando guitar. The only real trace of Wilco's alt-country roots is on the fabulously titled 'Jesus, etc.', led by a slightly scratchy country violin.
By far the best moment here is opener 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.' Seven minutes of pure, distilled Wilco genius, it features verse after verse of bizarre imagery ('tongue-tied lightning') that would make John Lennon proud and remains one of the highlights of their live set.
However, it's not all good, here - Yankee... is not Wilco's best album (Summerteeth is superior, and some would argue that A Ghost Is Born also surpasses it) and the reason for that is the song 'Reservations.' A seven-and-a-half-minute song, it closes the album in shoddy form, starting with a cracked, depressing piano ballad and ending with the white-noise/weird sounds effect that Wilco usually do so well. It's a disappointing end to an extraordinary album.
You could compare Wilco to an American Radiohead - Wilco are at least as good as that band, just as experimental and have made a similar complete, mind-boggling transformation across their career. Both of them are due for new albums later this year - I guess we'll get to see who comes out on top.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars yjgkjgjkkkjg, 19 May 2008
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
As any faithful music listener will attest, there is a period between buying an album and giving up on an album. This can range from minutes to years depending on the context, and I feel Yankee Hotel Foxtrot's time has come, despite all the acclaim, intriguing label arguments and respect it is given by those I trust. Say, twelve months or so for this one; that's the time it took this record to devolve from "possibly grower" to "painfully grey object of boredom", and that will likely be the way it stays. But I would like to believe. Spending my slightly hard-earned money on wonderful records is infinitely more preferable than wasting it away on unloved bits of plastic and paper, so I look for the positives: "Jesus, Etc." is jolly enough, I suppose; the Conet sampling is used to marvellous effect here, and is undoubtedly the most interesting thing to grace the ears of the listener. And that might well be it. It is not enough for me to return any time soon, and it is certainly not enough for me to join the army of those claiming this to be some sort of modern day masterpiece.

As a side note, the last few seconds of "Poor Places" would have allowed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to claim the prize for greatest ending to a pop album, although they had to ruin it by tacking the damp, all too safe "Reservations" on the end. Cockspankers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So misunderstood, 10 Mar 2012
By 
K. K. Jakubczyk "Sofa King" (Subversive Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
As most people will already know, this was a pivotal LP for Wilco. It was also a pivotal point in my love affair with Wilco. Initial disappointment was slowly replaced with that funny warm feeling that usually comes when you stumble across something special/ meaningful. Whilst that feeling is still there, I can't help thinking the years haven't been entirely kind to our relationship.

There are true moments of brilliance on this record - without any doubt Ashes of American Flags is pure genius. Possibly their very best song and still tragically relevant so many years down the road. The segue way into the pop of Heavy Metal Drummer always brings a smile. The final three tracks; Pot Kettle Black, Poor Places and Reservations work very well. The latter providing a haunting end to the LP.

However, even after hundreds of listens I still find that I cannot get on with the first side. Whilst the opener is ok, the following tracks are poor (Kamera, Radio Cure and War on War). It's almost as if Mr Tweedy has tried too hard.

If you like the preceding Wilco long players then buy this album, specifically for Ashes of American Flags - at it's current price it's worth it for that alone.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what can I say?, 24 May 2004
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
everybody should own this album if they are interested in that vague genre 'Altcountry'. As much as I love Uncle Tupelo, thank god they broke up, otherwise we would never have experienced the brilliance of Son Volt's 'Trace' or this album. A wierd, brilliant mix of songs, although their latest offering Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was a bit of a dissapointment. Unfortunatly, Jeff Tweedy has grown up a lot since he released this album, and has since lost the youthful excitment in music which came across in this album. Blows Ryan Adams out of the water.
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5 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enormously disappointing, 6 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Audio CD)
I don't buy many CDs anymore, save Radiohead, who had to prove themselves (and did), just like any other band. I'm a musician, so the composition means more to me than technical ability or lyrics. Based on this criteria, most of the songs on YHF just don't stick. And, yes, I've tried and tried, to catch every tiny nuance that may be there. But to me, if the basic tune isn't engaging, or very inspired, then all the special effects in the world won't help. Radio Cure is such an homage to Thom Yorke's vocal style that I almost believe Jeff was purposely mimicking him as much as possible. The album seems to pick up speed with "War on War," with an Alice in Chains bop feel. But it's "Jesus, etc." that really shows some thought with songwriting; it's simply a great song. If the rest of the album had all been this good, then I'd feel like my money was well spent. As it is, I'm afraid this is the last Wilco and I will be trading, unless they improve a lot. I surely like the faraway, bizarre female voice repeating "Yankee, Hotale, Foxetrrot." But I can get a whole album of that intriguing strangness from Tom Waits....
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Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco (Audio CD - 2002)
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