Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    100
    Wilco's ace eighth album, the first released on their own label, dBpm, is a real kick in the pants.
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    100
    The Whole Love feels like a truly audacious studio record, jam-packed with instruments, ideas, and the sort of restless creativity that marked 2002's game-changer, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
  3. 91
    With The Whole Love, Wilco make noise-pop exciting again, perhaps because the pop part doesn't come easy.
  4. Sep 30, 2011
    90
    The Whole Love should make long-running Wilco-ites ecstatic since this is the best and most adventurous set of Wilco songs in nearly a decade.
  5. Sep 27, 2011
    90
    Wilco have had their peaks and valleys, but they have never sounded as confident as they do on The Whole Love.
  6. Sep 26, 2011
    90
    Quite simply, this is the work of a great band at the peak of their powers, and The Whole Love is a joy to hear, revealing more with each listen and confirming once again that Wilco is as good a band as American can claim in the 21st century.
  7. Sep 26, 2011
    90
    An excellent return.
  8. 90
    If Wilco (The Album) was the band tempering their experimental nature into something more accessible, The Whole Love refines that approach and showcases the full range of Wilco's considerable abilities.
  9. Sep 23, 2011
    88
    The result on The Whole Love is a work by a group of exceptional musicians who, four years into their collaboration, have melded into one.
  10. The Whole Love is much more encompassing of everything vital in the Wilco catalog, the twangy, the noisy, and yes, a little of the leisurely.
  11. Sep 27, 2011
    85
    The Whole Love reveals itself as their finest album since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
  12. Sep 26, 2011
    84
    The attempt to cross unbridgeable distances, whatever the outcome, defines The Whole Love.
  13. Dec 6, 2011
    80
    By unplugging the effects and simply playing, they sound re-energized. [Oct 2011, p.61]
  14. Nov 8, 2011
    80
    A warm, spirited pop record that holds its own against everything else in their canon. [Nov. 2011, p. 134]
  15. Sep 30, 2011
    80
    Wilco are just doing what they do best, and doing it better than ever.
  16. Sep 28, 2011
    80
    The Whole Love easily represents the Wilco's most adventurous and fully realized work in years.
  17. Sep 27, 2011
    80
    The Whole Love seems like a celebration of that freedom, with songs that roam happily all over the place.
  18. Sep 26, 2011
    80
    It is the sound of a band entirely comfortable and confident with where they are.
  19. It may not be the best Wilco album ever, but with care and consideration it may well turn out to be your favourite.
  20. 80
    If it's not quite the landmark that was Wilco (the album), it's not far behind, as absorbing as any you'll hear this year.
  21. Sep 23, 2011
    80
    While the album is packed with inventive moments, there's no more lacerating skronk, for a very good reason: the emotions the band is mirroring don't call for it. [Oct 2011, p.82]
  22. 80
    If listeners return the love even half as much as the band has dished it out, both parties will be highly satisfied.
  23. Sep 22, 2011
    80
    An entire LP of these earthy yet cerebral pop constructs would have been no hardship whatsoever. [Oct 2011, p.92]
  24. Sep 22, 2011
    80
    Produced so inventively that it still often feels avant garde, The Whole Love unifies Wilco's leftfield and pop sensibilities.
  25. Sep 21, 2011
    80
    Their most adventurous, confident and engaging record in years.
  26. Sep 21, 2011
    80
    The Whole Love feels more of a piece with 1999's Summerteeth, the caustic pop opus on which Tweedy sped away from alt-country (or y'allternative, No Depression, whatever) in a car far sleeker (and blacker) than the one Hank Williams supposedly died in.
  27. Oct 7, 2011
    77
    Tweedy's lyrics have recaptured much of their surreal, grammar-defying, sinister charm, and he has mercifully spared us the smug, privileged nihilism that Clayton so rightly lambasted in his review of Wilco (The Album).
  28. Oct 3, 2011
    75
    The Whole Love has the band giving more than in the recent past, but the combustible musical debate at the band's core seems largely to have ceased. Wilco may still have the ability to thrill, but they've lost the ability to surprise.
  29. Sep 27, 2011
    75
    As enjoyable as The Whole Love is-and it's an appreciable improvement over the wan Wilco-it still has some of its predecessor's slight, low-stakes feel.
  30. The Whole Love is a solid return for Wilco, and hopefully them pushing their sound in more new directions as they have done here, particularly on the first and last tracks.
  31. Sep 23, 2011
    75
    As a sheer sound experience, The Whole Love is rewarding, a tapestry of tiny details that invites close listening.
  32. Oct 7, 2011
    70
    Once Wilco blazon forth their centerpiece, the remainder of The Whole Love takes a more familiar form that embraces self-assurance, even if those lopsided moments sum the overall experience.
  33. Oct 4, 2011
    70
    The Whole Love is, therefore, just another Wilco album. But it's Wilco at the top of their game, or at least close to it, patrolling territory they've made their own and secure in the knowledge that they belong there.
  34. Weirdness far from gallops across the dozen songs that make up the pick'n'mix bag of The Whole Love though, as the straight up alt.pop of 'I Might' testifies, coming across something like a breezy Weezer packing PhDs and lime-topped Coronas.
  35. Sep 28, 2011
    70
    Just like Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album), there's songs that are more ambitious and some that are more successful, but all of them fit as a cohesive whole, just as on every Wilco album so far.
  36. Sep 26, 2011
    70
    Some of the album's most arresting moments come as the dust settles.
  37. Sep 26, 2011
    70
    The Whole Love proves the band is still moving forward, still changing, even if it's not in the lofty ways we expect it to.
  38. Sep 26, 2011
    69
    So the weird, winsome Whole Love is certainly Wilco's least consistent LP in a while, but inconsistency has its own rewards.
  39. Sep 26, 2011
    60
    It may not rank among Wilco's boldest works. It could have done with more wig-outs. But it captures the art of the almost with both hands.
  40. Nov 11, 2011
    50
    The Whole Love works best as aural comfort food.[#81, p. 60]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Oct 31, 2011
    10
    Excrptional! I must confess that I thought the band's best days were behind them. While "Sky Blue Sky" and "Wilco (The Album)" wereExcrptional! I must confess that I thought the band's best days were behind them. While "Sky Blue Sky" and "Wilco (The Album)" were reasonably strong, I felt they were not up to the standards set by the previous albums that had me rating them the best and most important band in rock'n roll. Well now they are back and better then ever. The album opens with an instant classic in "Art of Almost" and just keeps going. Equally impressive are some of the rockers like "I Might", "Born Alone" and "Standing O". The album clses with another gem with the sprawling "One Sunday Morning" which punctuates Wilco's finest ever and the best album of 2011! Full Review »
  2. j30
    Oct 28, 2011
    10
    The first great album of the new decade. An album, so diverse, you can't get it out of your head. Each time I listen to the album the more IThe first great album of the new decade. An album, so diverse, you can't get it out of your head. Each time I listen to the album the more I respect it's musicianship and lyrics. From the muscle flexing "Art of Almost" to the epic beauty of "One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)", it's their most captivating album since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Full Review »
  3. Sep 30, 2011
    8
    The first song on the album will make the buy worth it. As a whole, it has some great moments, some average ones, and everything in between.