Diffidence and uncertainty hover over much of Sky Blue Sky, Wilco's latest album. On song after song, Jeff Tweedy struggles with conundrums about the trustworthiness of love and the quality of existence. Tending toward wistful, often lovely ballads, the music nonetheless hangs between the avant-pop of latter day Wilco and the band's early alt-country roots (the latter most evident on the pedal-steel-driven "What Light"). Still, Wilco's sound is in prime form, thanks to the additions of versatile guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. Cline's scorching jazz-rock flights emphatically punctuate a handful of tunes, while his earthier work repeatedly adds blues and folk-rock dimensions, along with Sansone's assorted keyboard flourishes. When Tweedy joins that pair on electric guitar, their triple-headed drive is almost Allmanesque. But such giddy moments are short-lived, with a studied moodiness prevailing.
Wed., Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2007