Special limited edition release of the band's 2004 album (released to coincide with their European tour), adds a 5-track bonus disc featuring 'Panthers', 'At Least That's What You Said' (live), 'The Late Greats' (live), 'Handshake Drugs' (live) & 'Kicking Television. Nonesuch. 2005.
The infectious twang and pop hooks of Wilco's former efforts may be fading fast, but A Ghost Is Born
is still a rewarding effort that demands repeated listening. The group's fifth album extends upon the experimentalism of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
with angular, blues-soaked guitar riffs ("At Least That's What You Said," "Hell Is Chrome"), a handful of sparse, yet catchy tunes (smack dab in the middle of the disc) that will surely keep college radio stations smiling, and a lengthy track that descends into mere static ("Less Than You Think"). Frontman Jeff Tweedy's songwriting continues to evolve: "Hummingbird" is a dreamy Randy Newman-styled love song; "The Late Greats" is a sly ode to the world of pop tacked onto the end of the album (as if using such a fun song on this understated disc was an afterthought). Meanwhile, producer extraordinaire Jim O'Rourke manages to make the most complicated arrangements here sound minimalist and laid-back. All told, it's another great addition to the Wilco canon. --Jason Verlinde