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
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.