I've got to agree more with the naysayers on this album. While not as "bad" as some make it out to be, in my opinion, 5 stars is just a gut reaction that some diehard fans have given to their boys.
Everything about the album screams out that it is just leftover material (even if it isn't, and honestly, I don't know). The CD even looks the same as the first one!
Ultimately, that's really not important, however. Musically, which is where it counts, the first half of the album is more or less consistent and yes, pleasant and interesting to listen to. However, there are just too many songs on here that are muddy, sloppy, and plain "ugly" to listen to. Write it off to artistic creativity if you will, and certainly, an artist can do as he/she pleases, but even Woody himself once said songs that make you feel bad are not good songs - these songs, while not the "downers" that I believe he was referring to, make my ears feel bad!
I keep listening to this CD in the hopes that it will "click" for me, and work together as a whole album, but I just find myself continuing to want to skip past so many songs on this album, and just listen to a handful of songs.
Wilco fans will hate me, but perhaps I liked Vol. 1 so much more than this one is because Wilco didn't sound so much like themselves!! Even though not a commercial success the band is still waaay overrated in my opinion.