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Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

5 Ratings: 3.8
the fourth studio album by Chicago-based alt country band Wilco

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is the fourth album from Chicago-based alt country band Wilco. It was released in 2002 by Nonesuch Records, after the album had been dropped by Reprise. Ironically, both labels were owned by Warner Brothers. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot … see full wiki

Tags: Music, Indie Rock
1 review about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

A tech-y alt-country album

  • Jan 17, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot will always sound like Chicago to me. The fourth studio album from the Chicago-based alt-country band Wilco, this was the soundtrack to my first Chicago summer.

What strikes me about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is how this happens to be the band's most innovative album in terms of studio production and utilizing new technology — but it still manages to sound like an alt-country album, with the grit and imperfections. If there's any indication of how alt-country will evolve with the use of studio technology, then this is it.

"I am an American aquarium drinker," sings Jeff Tweedy on the opening track "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," as electronic synthesizers lap around the edges of his voice. Those synthesizers are there to the song's very end, when the computer-created noise distortion breaks it down entirely, crumpling up the song, with its sentiments of old-fashioned heartbreak and lovelorn, and shredding it up in front of us entirely.

If, for the first time you listen to it, you're an alt-country purist who regularly attends acoustic shows, maybe this means that you're horrifed. If, for the first time you listen to it, you're a college girl who doesn't know the first thing about alt-country music (like me), then it sounds like the best thing you've heard in a long, long time.  You listen to it on heavy rotation throughout that hot, humid summer in Chicago, while you explore the neighborhoods of your adopted city, one that, like this album, is both modern and old-timey.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

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April 03, 2009
I would have to say that I too was excited about Nels Cline joining Wilco. When they were on Saturday Night Live, Nels--probably one of the best guitar players around right now--was over doing his thing on the side. Tweedy seems to be the focal point of the band, which is unfortunate, because with people like Nels backing him, the collaborative potential is through the roof. Check out Nels Clines work with Banyan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_At_Perkins%27_Palace).
April 03, 2009
Wow, a piece of Wilco miscellany! You really know your stuff. I love it when people really into music get nitty gritty — down to the work of individual musicians. I'd admit, for many of the bands I admire, I don't always know the names of all the bandmates, besides the frontman.
 
February 21, 2009
I like A Ghost is Born, but the album never made it into heavy rotation for me. Ghost may be better then YHF, but the rawness of YHF has stuck with me
 
January 22, 2009
@avantchicago: Yeah, I've listened to some Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo as well — but nothing compares to the unique sound of YHF. I just love it. What did you think of the followup album to this, "A Ghost is Born"? I'd love to hear someone else's take on that one.
April 03, 2009
I actually got sucked into Uncle Tupelo because I really like Jay Farrar's voice. Another interesting alt-country band from back in the day is 16 Hoursepower. In some ways I thought they sounded like X with a hard country edge. Features David Eugene Edwards. Have not heard his later stuff after 16 Horsepower.
 
January 22, 2009
Even though I came to age w/ music that certainly is some sort of parent to Alt-country, YHF seemed like something so new to me as well. (despite also having heard some Son Volt) While I was living in Chicago at the time, I was home for the summer in Indiana when this album hit heavy rotation for me. It reminds me of hot humid summers as well, but in Indiana, sipping by the lake or driving across the fields to somebody's BBQ. A great "soundtrack of life" kind of album.
 
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