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Cruel Country


Cruel Country

Studio album number twelve from pioneering folk rock band recorded live in their Chicago loft

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  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Cruel Country is the rare album that throws everything that came before it into sharp relief – a small miracle for a band 30 years into its run. Print edition only

  2. 9.0 |   Clash

    That ambient sound – the sound of freedom and loneliness, of abandonment in the best and worst senses of the word – is a stand-in for what makes Wilco’s take on country-adjacent music so uniquely brilliant
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  3. 8.8 |   Northern Transmissions

    The album is twenty one songs, but it’s only an hour and fifteen minutes. I plead with you to stick it out. And if you’re thinking of leaving this “cruel country,” maybe you’ll have second thoughts, after listening to this album by a national treasure
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  4. 8.0 |   All Music

    Feels as unified and well plotted as anything in Wilco's catalog, and it's deeply moving, powerfully heartfelt music from a handful of gifted players serving their songs beautifully
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  5. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    At 21 tracks, Wilco second double album is fit to burst with songs, but at first they mainly appear to be slight, shy and retiring creatures, not that keen to hog the spotlight and make their presence felt. Keep listening, though, and richly alluring hidden depths soon appear
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  6. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Tweedy is a true inheritor of The Kinks’ sensibility, focusing on sympathy forged by pain
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  7. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Cruel Country might get a little sleepy at times, but it’s a rather impressively compelling listen, even given its intimidating length
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  8. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Their latest is a beautifully rootsy album with a broken sense of patriotic concern
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  9. 8.0 |   The FT

    The band’s deftly detailed 12th studio album paints a portrait of a troubled America
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  10. 8.0 |   The Observer

    The band return to their alt country roots – and live takes – with a double album full of worldly wisdom
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  11. 8.0 |   Mojo

    They return forever changed to confidently shape a form of country music that is entirely of their own character. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   NME

    On their 12th album, the alt-rockers have embraced their country music influences with open arms, but sidestepped all of the genre's clichés
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  13. 7.9 |   Paste Magazine

    The Chicago band’s 12th album offers more than just a return to twang
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  14. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    The edgier and adventurous strands of Wilco’s DNA continue to remain on standby. We all have ways of coping with whatever cruel country we find ourselves in, and for Tweedy and company, it’s to zero in on the song and let it breathe
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  15. 7.2 |   Pitchfork

    On a 21-track double album recorded live in the studio, Wilco embrace a simple, buoyant approach that hearkens back to Jeff Tweedy’s earliest work
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  16. 5.8 |   Beats Per Minute

    At heart, it’s all too modest, too fatigued, too lacking in ambition and attitude. It’s the Wilco album that Wilco haters can point to and exclaim that it justifies their hatred
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