Wilco - Schmilco
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2016 Ratings: #344 / 947
User Score
Based on 233 ratings
2016 Ratings: #352
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Consequence of Sound

The songs have chaos without ever being chaotic. This leaves room for some of Tweedy’s surliest (and best) one-liners that tie back to that idea of joyous negativity.

A.V. Club

Schmilco is Wilco’s most musically simple and emotionally resonant record in a decade, gorgeously naked and efficient.


Without question, Schmilco is Wilco’s quietest, most disquieting album. And if Tweedy’s soul-baring amid these artfully austere backdrops constitutes a performance, it’s a pretty convincing one.

Pretty Much Amazing

It’s hard to convince the cool kids that this record’s quiet rebellion is worth hearing because it’s not drowned in irony or heady guitar parts or electronic sonics or whatever langue du jour. It’s simply, as mentioned, unpretentious, unassuming, and crucially, good music.

Slant Magazine

It's ... an album that so sincerely accepts maturation beyond supposed stasis, or prurient middle-age crises, that it should make us drop the term “dad rock” as a pejorative and accept that it can also be used as a description of high art.

The Line of Best Fit

Even as another merely good Wilco album ... Schmilco does pay plentiful dividends for listeners patient enough to discover its gradually revealed riches.

Loud and Quiet

It seems like, two decades in, they’re knowingly recording the type of instant back catalogue albums that future completists will discover and cherish another twenty years from now.


A moving, disquieting experience, sweetness and fear mingling together as the summer fades into autumn. 

NOW Magazine

More than any Wilco record before, Schmilco dwells on the fact that life is funny but also heavy as hell.

The Guardian

On Wilco’s 10th album, the group’s enthusiasm is packed away in the boot along with the musty blankets and empty water bottles.


Schmilco is an acoustic record but not a slow one—thank God—which proves the right vehicle for the band’s loosest, most unadorned set of songs since its debut.

Rolling Stone

Along with its return to bedrock sounds, the album seems especially shaped by the Midwestern-ness that's always defined the Chicago-based crew.


Schmilco feels simple and declarative on first glance, but the deeper one is willing to dig, the more there is to find, both in terms of the band's interplay and Tweedy's songs.


Even if Schmilco isn’t Wilco’s most exciting album, it’s among their most consistent and immediately gratifying. 


While it was recorded during the same sessions as its predecessor, it mostly bypasses the unconventional, experimental, unstructured feel of that album. The songs, for the most part, possess more straightforward sonic architecture, and it’s also a much more restrained record.

Under The Radar

Ten albums and more than 20 years into their career, Wilco are still making great music.


With ‘Schmilco’, Wilco are getting funnier, more surprising and more interesting, two decades after forming. It’s a delight.

The Needle Drop
Wilco returns with another unassuming record.
Drowned in Sound

Whether this is through democracy or Tweedy’s innate ear for what will work well is irrelevant. Either way, it’s exactly what’s glaringly missing here.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Tweedy seems content to just coast along, despite aligning himself with what is easily Wilco’s most talented configuration.

Just kind of more of the same from a legendary band. Schmilco is meh, not a lot wrong with it, but not much to gain from it that you can't from somewhere else.

Best Track: If I Ever Was A Child
Worst Track: Common Sense
(Wilco binge part 13)
This album serves as a nice counter weight to star wars. A much more stripped down style of music,
A very sweet melodic sound and reflective personal lyrics make this a much more enjoyable experience than the previous few albums.
The contrast between Star Wars and Schmilco is palpable to say the least. making their 2010's far more interesting than one would expect from an act still going after more than two decades. Where Star Wars was a chaotic array of distortion and energy, Schmilco is a stripped back and simplistic record that allows the soul of Wilco and Tweedy as a vocalist to really resonate and shine.

One benefit of Schmilco as well is its strong focus. Whereas some albums feel drawn out and inconsistent, ... read more
"Schmilco" is one of the most melodic and pleasant to listen albums in Wilco's discography. While it sounds optimistic and nostalgic is depressing or at least melancholic, since it refers to a traumatic childhood.

Highlights: "Normal American Kids", "Quarters", "Just Say Goodbye"
Definitely one of Wilco's most simple and quiet album to date. I really enjoyed the songwriting and the melodies seemed fresh and catchy. I definitely prefer this album over their previous work, The Whole Love. Schmilco wasn't anything that could top my "Best of Wilco" list but I still recommend it if you're just looking for a wholesome listen.

Strong 6/10
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Added on: July 18, 2016