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Down With Wilco

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bart Bealmear
Since its formation, the Minus 5 has been a supergroup of sorts, led by Scott McCaughey Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M. sideman and Peter Buck R.E.M.. As the title would suggest, they are joined this time around by all four members of Wilco, the group responsible for the most talked-about recording of both 2001 and 2002 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Down with Wilco was to be released by a major label until it suffered the same fate as YHF, when it was suddenly shelved. Like that album, it deserved better and was eventually emancipated by the indie Yep Roc in 2003. While Down with Wilco doesn't match the quality of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot a difficult task, as this is one of the best ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bart Bealmear
Since its formation, the Minus 5 has been a supergroup of sorts, led by Scott McCaughey Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M. sideman and Peter Buck R.E.M.. As the title would suggest, they are joined this time around by all four members of Wilco, the group responsible for the most talked-about recording of both 2001 and 2002 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Down with Wilco was to be released by a major label until it suffered the same fate as YHF, when it was suddenly shelved. Like that album, it deserved better and was eventually emancipated by the indie Yep Roc in 2003. While Down with Wilco doesn't match the quality of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot a difficult task, as this is one of the best releases of the early 21st century, it's unsurprising that they both have similar sounds, via the use of synthesizers, various percussion effects, and horns. The record is tighter as well -- not as spatial as YHF. Wilco is effectively transformed into the Wrecking Crew by McCaughey and Buck, both huge fans of the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson's technique of saturating the tape with music. In many ways, the disc updates experimental '60s pop, conjuring up the Beatles, the Byrds, Syd Barrett, as well as the aforementioned Beach Boys. "That's Not the Way It's Done" even emulates the synth-driven -- and often misunderstood -- Beach Boys 1977 release Love You. And then there's "The Old Plantation," which sounds tailor-made for early-'70s AM radio. McCaughey even draws upon old friend and colleague Paul Westerberg, romanticizing failure in "Dear Employer" and "Days of Wine and Booze." This collective has always represented the darker elements of McCaughey's personality, but the depression is kept in check here by Wilco's solid and often upbeat backing, thus playing a major role in the most enjoyable Minus 5 release yet.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
It's a Saturday-night version of [Wilco's Yankee Hotel] Foxtrot: laid-back, poignant and comic.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
[A] set of rueful ersatz bubble-gum. (B)

[A] set of rueful ersatz bubble-gum. (B)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/25/2003
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • UPC: 634457205222
  • Catalog Number: 2052
  • Sales rank: 359,316

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Minus 5 Primary Artist
Brian Paulson Box
Jessy Strings, Violin, Cello, Voices
Technical Credits
Scott McCaughey Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Kurt Bloch Artwork
Peter Buck Contributor
Brian Gardner Mastering
Christy McWilson Contributor
Sean O'Hagan Contributor
John Stirratt Contributor
Ken Stringfellow Contributor
Jeff Tweedy Arranger, Producer
Leroy Bach Contributor
Mikael Arranger, Producer
Mike Jorgensen Engineer
Charlie Francis Engineer
Scott Ferril Engineer
Gates Contributor
Kotche Contributor
Jesse Green Arranger
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