Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)
With their last two albums Wilco rewrote the book on what rock bands could do, so where next? The answer is they’ve reined in the experimentalism a tad and are indulging in exquisitely crafted, plaintive country-soul which manages to be simultaneously extremely comforting and utterly subversive. Mellowness is the overriding vibe here, but there are lyrical and musical barbs waiting to snare you at every turn, from the duelling guitars of ‘Impossible Germany’ to the perfect poetry of ‘Hate it Here’. Closing with heartbreakingly beautiful ruminations on creativity (‘What Light’) and relationships (‘On and On and On’), this is a subtly moving and gently inspirational album.