Just as classic country tells of lovin’, cheatin’ and drinkin’ — real life in everyday language — so does Tweedy’s small-town worldview have an Everyman honesty. There hasn’t been a more real breakup song than “Box Full of Letters,” and “Passenger Side” describes another kind of loss — that of a DWI license suspension. Tweedy and crew have also absorbed riffs from their forefathers, and they spit them back: a touch of “Honky Tonk Women” here (“Casino Queen”), a dash of Tomight’s the Night there. Present throughout, of course, are Parsons and his heroes George Jones and Merle Haggard.
Wilco’s no-frills recipe for heartfelt C&W rock is most satisfying, just as Tweedy spells it out in “Blue Eyed Soul”: “Can you keep it simple/Can you let the snare crack/Can you let it move without holding back.” Wilco have done that and more. -Rolling Stone