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More Like the Moon EP 
Artist: Wilco
Label: Nonesuch 
Length: 6 Tracks (21 minutes 56 seconds) 

As the first few seconds of “Camera” blare through your stereo speakers from the new Wilco EP More Like the Moon you feel like they’ve taken a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot song, played it like “Being There” and used some instruments from “Summerteeth.” Well okay I could only fit three of the four Wilco albums to describe this track, but that’s pretty impressive by itself isn’t it? One album for each name that they decided you could choose for yourself that this EP could be titled. (The other two offered as different cover arts which you could download being The Australian EP and The Bridge EP) This multiple album titles feature is one of the pros, or perhaps cons (you be the judge) that can be added up to decide whether or not releasing this EP over the internet, available only to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot owners, was a good move. I myself would have enjoyed another Wilco recording with full packaging, but hay as a struggling college student, I can’t help but feel some thankfulness for 6 free songs delivered to my hard drive and cd burner. 

The opening remix of “Camera” is very nice but doesn’t exactly fit in with the flow of the other five songs, but acts adequately as a bonus track placed at the beginning instead of the ending. The biggest gem of this short recording has to be the laidback “Handshake Drugs.” I heard this one first at a Wilco concert and had been looking forward to downloading the EP ever since. The unique percussion stylings typical of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot played by Kotche are present throughout the song. Tweedy brings us some more of his trademark clever lyrics, “I look like someone I used to know, it’s feeling alright, and if I ever was myself I wasn’t that night.” The drums and guitar riffs threaten to explode in a fury like on “I’m the Man Who Loves You” from YHF, but manage to keep their cool. “Woodgrain” is probably a couple notches below quality Wilco is capable of and sounds the closest they have come to sounding like Radiohead, perhaps a slower moment on OK Computer

The tempo and creativity bounce up for the Salsa flavored “a Magazine Called Sunset.” The track is filled with Brian Wilson studio techniques and clever songwriting. Although the mood is a little too happy to fit into a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot mold, the lyrics would fit perfectly into that piece. Tweedy sings, “there’s a magazine called sunset, and a tape machine that won’t let, me ever forget this impossible longing for you”. The recording takes another slow turn with the lamenting “Bob Dylan’s 49th Beard.” This song has some nice lyrics and a despondent tone. The lengthy title track “More Like the Moon” sounds the closest to paving new ground stylistically for Wilco. The song sounds mournful but seems to offer hope in the hope of redemption through the passing of what is lost by declaring “I know we should be grateful, everything is falling apart. Everything is breaking, and it lifts my heart.” The most appealing quality in the song comes from the Spanish sounding classic guitar solos which resonate beautifully throughout the song. Although not up to caliber as Wilco’s full length albums, the More Like the Moon EP is a nice token of gratitude from Wilco to their fans. 

Matt Kilgore 5/26/03


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