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Ode To Joy Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 11th full-length studio release for the Chicago alternative rock band was produced by Jeff Tweedy.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Uncut
    Sep 30, 2019
    90
    Finely honed reflections that add a new perspective to the conversation of politics. ... The songs here are simple, but they contain multitudes. [Oct 2019, p.25]
  2. Oct 4, 2019
    80
    The most striking aspect of Ode to Joy is how weary Tweedy sounds. From upfront political themes (Citizens, which wavers and rumbles with minor harmonies, lines about white lies, and distorted guitars) to thoughts of personal tragedy (White Wooden Cross), there's one clear conclusion: Tweedy is beaten down. But Tweedy is at his best when he's processing that exhaustion.
  3. Sep 30, 2019
    80
    In trying times, Wilco have found some joy in creativity and made another album true to themselves, full of “poetry and magic” to console and inspire.
  4. The Wire
    Dec 9, 2019
    80
    No sound is extraneous, every lick is needed, a minimalist musicianship that focuses you on Jeff Tweedy’s heartbreaking words. Their best in ages. [Jan 2020, p.71]
  5. Oct 8, 2019
    78
    Ode to Joy’s beguiling folk songs are direct and generous, quiet sounds coming from a big room.
  6. Oct 3, 2019
    75
    Ode to Joy is a seemingly small-scale record; a pale-skinned beauty of an album that has much to say, says it deliberately, often quietly; like a whisper of advice from an old friend reminding you that you, me, we... need to carry on.
  7. Oct 15, 2019
    60
    The record doesn't entirely succeed, but these tracks are built on durable structures and sentiments that make them deserving of the focus they'll likely receive.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Oct 5, 2019
    10
    Beautiful album. Takes a few listens to get into it, but it is 100% worth it.
  2. Oct 25, 2019
    9
    Of the Wilco catalogue, the only albums I consistently come back to and play from start to finish are Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.Of the Wilco catalogue, the only albums I consistently come back to and play from start to finish are Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. There isn't a mediocre song on either of those albums. Being There is my favourite for variety in musical style and country twang. YHF is brilliant -- the only studio album with arrangements that sound better than what Wilco cranks out in live sets. After 10 days of listening to Ode to Joy, my preliminary judgment is that it is the most engaging album from Wilco since YHF. Ode to Joy has a number of terrific songs -- my current favourites are We Were Lucky (Atmosphere) and Hold Me Anyway -- and no lemons. Plus it is emotionally/atmospherically intense. Hats off to Mr. Tweedy and his colleagues for this fresh burst of creativity. Expand
  3. Oct 18, 2019
    8
    “Ode To Joy” is the 11th studio album from these iconic Americana legends out of Chicago. Wilco has always expanded and experimented with“Ode To Joy” is the 11th studio album from these iconic Americana legends out of Chicago. Wilco has always expanded and experimented with their roots, augmenting their trademark sound with everything from pure pop to eclectic soundscaping rock. Here, they mix melody with a quiet, revelatory intensity. Downtempo ballads move into weary-but-warm pop moments. Tweedy’s voice is affable and revealing; Nels Cline’s guitars are naturally complimentary. melancholy morphs into moments of exhilaration; tranquility takes a break to let the band breathe and rock out occasionally. Members have also played in Boxhead Ensemble, Loose fur, Golden Fog, The Minus 5, The Geraldine Fibbers, Uncle Tupelo, The Autumn Defense, more. “Ode To Joy” covers a lot of ground, showcasing the band’s diversity and natural talent, while remaining cohesive and compelling. I’m on my third listen and it’s getting stronger with each one. Recommended. Expand