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SWAGGER, NOT STYLE

The worldwide headquarters and hindquarters of freelance writer Chris Klimek

Separated at Blitz, a ghost is born Again

Chris Klimek

[gallery columns="2"] You probably noticed this last year when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs's It's Blitz! came out, but I just caught it now. Is its egg-crushing cover intended to portend a sequel or rebuke Wilco's 2004 a ghost is born?

Probably not. About the only commonality that leaps out at me among these two albums is that both found their makers using synthesizers and what I'll call, for want of a better descriptor, more self-consciously artificial sounds than they had in the past. Wilco's prior outing, their 2001/2 breakthrough yankee hotel foxtrot, probably had as much or more studio-generated soundcape on it than ghost, but the bleeps and bloops were less conspicuous, disguised as found tape or intercepted radio interference. And foxtrot didn't have a 12-minute ambient "sound installation" (as Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy called it) embedded in its penultimate track.