Sunday, May 13, 2007

Alternative Country Week

This past week is the week that Alternative Country was reborn in my mind. Alternative Country, is hard to define but is best understood as "underground country music." This is music that although it stylistically has many things in common with mainstream country music, would never get play on a country station. Instead of Keney Chesney or Carrie Underwood, think Woodie Guthrie. The "stars" of this genre are Wilco, Ryan Adams, and Neko Case. Sometimes, these artists are just put under the broader category of "indie rock."

First, this week,I discovered the music of Neko Case. Simply amazing. She has an powerful voice (think Patsy Cline with less twang), haunting lyrics, and I can't hear enough. I've been playing her latest album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood almost constantly on my MP3 player.

Then, Wilco released their new album a week early on Rhapsody. The album is called Sky Blue Sky. I love it. Again, its a departure from their past album (each album is pretty distinct as far as style goes). If anything Sky Blue Sky goes back to Wilco's alternative country roots. Stylistically, it lies somewhere between Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. In terms of skill, as always, Wilco is improving with each album.

I hope to have a full-review of Wilco's new album out this week. In the meantime, you can listen to the full album at their website at this link.

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