At the center of every album is a musical thesis. While not every album is a concept album, each collection of songs, when pulled together, paints a story. For Wilco “Schmilco,” I hear songs of a band standing in the present and longing for the past. At first, this begins with the concept of aging. It happens naturally to all of us as we escape the spring of our years and slowly fade into autumn. We begin longing for the way things were. This is fine if we do it with a forgiving heart. Remember the generation behind you is a product of every decision your generation made.
In many of these songs, Jeff Tweedy and the gang sound nostalgic and heartbroken. Given the world, we live in and the political climate we currently find ourselves, this is more than understanding. I, for one, long for a day when politics doesn’t dominate every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, I fear we have gone too far down the rabbit hole to ever recover. When I listen to this album, I hear a band who is fearful of the same.
Finally, I hear songs fearful of the change yet to come. If we have indeed gone too far down the rabbit hole and things are only going to get worse, what in the hell is next? For our children, our species, our planet, this terrifies me. Will anything ever be normal again? Are we supposed to adjust to this new reality without hesitation? Will this album be all I have to comfort me and make me realize that I am not alone? I hope not.
Be good to each other,
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