Yes, I just got both Alex and Nels new albums. They are both really good
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i agree that wilco is more innovative and bigger-sounding with nels cline; however i don't think it's it in the band to produce the giant, important statement they're obviously striving for. in my (wholly unsolicited) opinion, at core jeff tweedy is a folkie, and a pretty good one--his woody guthrie albums and solo acoustic stuff are just fine. unfortunately, his ambitions are much larger than his ability to execute them--i.e. his wilco records still sounds like simple folk songs, albeit with lots of electronic flourishes and production bombast. i'm happy that he's so successful--he seems like a very hardworking guy, but (while many may disagree) i don't think they acheive greatness.
Greatness is overrated. You look at all the great bands, too many to list, in the past. The best music was on the way to greatness. Once they achieve "Greatness" it was all down hill from there.
Wilco puts out I believe the best music right now. I am eagerly waiting for their new album. Financially I wish them all the best. Musically...I selfishly hope they never make what some call "Greatness".
Some related things to consider are that the level of musicianship in rock is generally better than in earlier times(with more professionalized influences from popular music degrees obtained at institutions like Berklee), the personnel and session playing of top bands has become more changeable & collaborative, including crossover projects, jazz influences(think Cline, Eels, Dirty Projectors, Bonnie Prince Billy, etc.) The power of collaborations really struck me while listening to recent Wilco albums and also the new U2-- an amalgam of U2/Eno/Lanois in which you can pull the fabric apart and clearly recognize the individual contributions of each of these three principals-- and yet an album which unquestionably coheres as U2 and U2 in top form. IMO the older paradigm of a rock band as a monolithic entity is best exemplified by Pearl Jam. No others I can think of-- except perhaps Metallica if you like that kind of stuff.