100 Best Albums of the '90s

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

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Wilco, 'Being There'

35. Wilco, 'Being There'

The nineteen tracks on Being There are spread across two CDs — a sound aesthetic decision. Each disc functions as a self-contained entity digestible in a single forty-minute sitting. Together, both halves aspire to the nervy sprawl of double-album predecessors such as London Calling and Exile on Main Street, records that forged unified personal statements out of a bewildering variety of styles. Being There is a product of ambitious versatility, particularly in the string-band textures conjured by multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston and the pliant rhythms of bassist John Stirratt and drummer Ken Coomer. Wilco explore the clavinet-fueled funk of the Band on "Kingpin" and crank up the Sun Sessions-style reverb on "Someday Soon." The band also bounces like the Beatles in a dance hall on "Why Would You Wanna Live" and evokes an air of desert mystery in "Hotel Arizona."

Rolling Stone's Original 1996 Review

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