When Wilco’s leader, Jeff Tweedy, described their new album “Cruel Country” he called It “country with a capital C.” Don’t expect steel guitars, mandolins and fiddles on this double album set however, because the title refers to America as much as the musical genre. Still, this is the best sounding country rock album since the band’s beginnings.   

This is Wilco’s 12th album since they were formed by the breakup of the seminal alt-country band Uncle Tupelo with Jay Farrar. It’s their most consistent sounding album in that there are no hard rock or psychedelic tangents, just the band enjoying playing off their musical contributions.

With Tweedy’s wispy vocals and subdued tempos the songs comment on the state of this complicated nation that has no easy answers for it’s faults but is still deserving of respect and forgiveness.

If Country music, with a capital C, is all about telling stories, “Cruel Country” exceeds in that respect. The band is finding a way out of a dark time and celebrating their new found freedom to create in person and that has inspired one of their best albums in their over twenty five year history.