Music Banter - View Single Post - Wilco Discography Review
View Single Post
Old 02-01-2009, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
marquee moon
Roygbiv's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 759

BEING THERE (Reprise; 1996)
Cool Fact: The title of the album is derived from the 1979 movie of the same name.
Cool Fact: Although it was packaged with two discs, Reprise sold Being There for the price of one.

Hot off the heels of their 1995 effort A.M, Wilco return, sounding more atmospheric and cryptic. Whereas A.M was straight up, flannel shirt wearing alternative country with no mystery or real ambition, Being There is a sprawling double album that, when not completely doing without their alternative country sound, sounds like a more refined version of their then signature sound. As soon as “Misunderstood” starts the listener knows that this is no part of this album is going to sound like the beloved “Casino Queen” or “I Must Be High” of the year prior.

“Far, Far Away,” is probably the first lyrical surprise. At first it sounds like something that could have belonged in A.M, until the song nears its conclusion as Tweedy explains that he will find his beloved in the dark side. Citing The Dark Side Of The Moon provides the song with an eerie vibe that hints at Tweedy’s soon to be most infamous vocal, “I dreamt about killing you again last night, and it felt alright to me” (from Summerteeth). Although there are songs like “Monday” and “Outtasite (Outta mind)” (and, really, most of Disc 1) that are musically and thematically similar to the tracks found on A.M, there are a few surprise inclusions. “Kingpin” sounds like something Beck would have conjured, and “Dreamer In My Dreams” sounds like the Beatles resurrected.

Plenty of Disc 2 also sounds more country (minus the alt) than A.M, creating a diverse, often surprising though sometimes-redundant double album. I’m going to cheat and go back and say that A.M is not their transition album, but that Being There is. There are hints of what came before and what is to come for the band musically and thematically, though they would really depart in the psychedelic Summerteeth.

If A.M was their Pablo Honey, Being There is definitely their Bends.
Roygbiv is offline   Reply With Quote