Wilco – Sky Blue Sky

Sky Blue Sky - Wilco

Sky Blue Sky was released by Wilco in May of 2007 and features the profoundly influential additions to the band of guitarist Nels Cline and multi instrumentalist Pat Sansone. Unlike previous Wilco albums, singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy shunned the overuse of studio effects and offered a more mellow, direct sound he described as influenced by the music of The Byrds and Fairport Convention. It also featured the unique approach of a songwriting collaboration between Tweedy and his bandmates that resulted in a more diverse overall sound. “Sky Blue Sky” is a poignantly somber meditation which contrasts the futility arising from an absence of a sense of purpose with glimmers of hope that sometimes infuse life with optimism, “With the sky blue sky, this rotten time wouldn’t seem so bad to me now.” The music, while traditional and rootsy, possesses an underlying haunting quality. Cline’s lap steel, emphasizing the undercurrent, passionately trails Tweedy’s confessional delivery with grieving accents. As with many Wilco compositions its simplicity is deceiving as it slowly unfolds into a more intensely complicated emotional landscape.

“Oh the band marched on in formation
The brass was phasing tunes I couldn’t place
Windows open and raining in maroon,  yellow, blue, gold and gray
The drunks were ricocheting
The old buildings downtown empty so long ago
Windows broken and dreaming
So happy to leave what was a home
With the sky blue sky, this ride in time wouldn’t seem so bad to me now
Oh, I didn’t die; I should be satisfied I survived
It’s good enough for now
With the sky blue sky, this rotten time wouldn’t seem so bad to me now
Oh, if I didn’t die, I should be satisfied I survived
It’s good enough for now”