One of my albums
By Avid Listenear
This is a Great Album. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in American folk music and history, or just likes good easy to listen to music. My college age son turned me on to this album about 10 years ago. To me the combination of songs here that feature either Billy Bragg or Jeff Tweedy and Wilco work great. I like Braggs tone and approach on most of his songs. Jeff Tweedy and Wilco here are fantastic. These are great folk type songs. As a whole this is a GREAT ALBUM, and not only fun to listen to but also easy and fun to get caught up the whole back story about the origin of the lyrics and how these artists arrived at setting them to music. We need more collaborative efforts of this quality. Five Stars
Hit and Miss Album
I have mixed feelings about this album. I'm in love with almost every Wilco song and I'm bored to tears with almost every Billy Bragg song. The Wilco songs are all entertaining and engaging. California Stars is one of the best Wilco songs in their catalog. Tweedy does it even better live and solo, but it's still awesome on this album. The only remotely weak tune by Wilco is Jesus for President.
The Bragg songs, on the other hand, are almost universally throwaways. Bragg's vocals are weak and so flat that it leaves most of his songs feeling like a snooze fest. The one exception is Way Over Yonder. That's an absolutely great song and possibly the best on the album.
With almost every other song being a throwaway, this album is like night and day. I kept every Wilco song and just the one Bragg song. The duet at the end is also a a throwaway. Even Tweedy's great vocals can't save that song with Bragg's flat droning. It's a shame, if all the songs were sung by Tweedy, this album would easily be 5 star quality.
WHO IS REVIEWING THIS STUFF/
By Pompitous of Love
The criticism of Wilco's rendering of California Stars has been proven to be ridiculous with time. "California Stars" may be the best piece of Americana music since the Band. I think Woody's family has done just fine by this song and the subsequent royalites. Some times you just have to wonder what are critics listening too.
Couple of Gems
Bought it shortly after release. Can't go wrong with Walt Whitman's Niece and California Stars.