Thursday, March 18, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘Being There,’ Wilco (1996)

If I could only pick one physical Wilco CD to have for the rest of my life, the first disc of “Being There” would be it. These 10 songs are my favorite collection in the band’s history, from majestic opener “Misunderstood”; a trio of perfect all-out rockers; wonderful ballads including “What’s the World Got in Store”; and excellent changes of pace like “Forget the Flowers.” Disc 1 of “Being There” crystallizes everything I love about Wilco.

The second disc ain’t half bad, either, but it doesn’t have the taut focus of the former. Though “Sunken Treasure” starts the Disc 2 out on a momentous high note, the rest has a looser, tossed-off, b-side feel to it. Highlights here include concert staple “Kingpin” and the delicate strains of “Someone Else’s Song” and “The Lonely 1.” But the disc suffers a bit from rehashed “Outta Mind (Outta Sight)” and the rambling, backward-looking “Dreamer in My Dreams.”

Grade: A-

Favorite Tracks: “Monday”/“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”/“I Got You (at the End of the Century)”

Least Favorite Track: “Why Would You Wanna Live?”

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