- This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
- Wilco: Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar); John Stirratt, Leroy Bach, Glenn Kotche, Jay Bennett.
- Additional personnel: Craig Christiansen, Ken Coomer, Jessy Greene, Fred Lonborg-Holm, Jim O'Rourke.
- Recorded at The Loft, CRC, and Soma E.M.S., Chicago, Illinois.
- Personnel: Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello); Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt (horns); Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion).
- Audio Mixer: Jim O'Rourke.
- Recording information: CRC; Somia E.M.S., Chicago, IL; The Loft, Chicago, IL.
- Photographer: Sam Jones.
- Unknown Contributor Roles: Jessy Greene; Ken Coomer; Leroy Bach.
- Far too much attention has been focused on this album's tortured history; band makes weird album, label rejects it, band buys it back and puts it out a year later through another arm of the same corporation. For the record, wildly overexcited Radiohead comparisons aside, the album's not that weird--it merely ventures a bit further down the sonic-shambles roads explored on the band's previous two releases. As has been noted elsewhere, the most valid reference point for the occasional pop deconstructions of YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT is Big Star's THIRD/SISTER LOVERS, not Thom Yorke and company.
- The most significant factor in this nominal weird-out is the presence of producer Jim O'Rourke, whose avant-rock tendencies loom large here. Nevertheless, beneath the layers of warped keyboards and slow-death guitars, Wilco mastermind Jeff Tweedy has loaded the album with catchy (yes, catchy) tunes that mix the pure power-pop of mid-period Beach Boys and the aforementioned Big Star with the rootsy background of Tweedy's former group Uncle Tupelo and an unmistakable streak of singer-songwriter melancholy. Don't be scared away by ridiculous assessments of this as a "difficult" album; any Wilco fan may enter this hotel without trepidation.
Rolling Stone (5/9/02, pp.71-72) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...An earthy, moving psychedelia, eleven iridescent-country songs about surviving a blown mind and a broken heart....the enchanting sound of things falling apart-and gingerly, doggedly coming together again..."
Spin (1/03, p.70) - Ranked #2 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year"
Spin (3/02, p.131) - "...The record includes fragments of treated piano, static interference, [and] random noises....YANKEE isn't your typical Americana or alt-country record..."
Q (May 2002, p.121) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...This elegant, world-weary...album ploughs enthusiastically into the leftfield..."
Uncut (1/03, p.94) - Ranked #4 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year" - "...Wilco's finest, its pretty electronic textures and melodicism making a heartbreaking album..."
CMJ (12/30/02, p.10) - Ranked #5 on CMJ's "Top 10 of 2002"
CMJ (4/22/02, p.4) - "...[A] beautifully strange mix of organic textures and oblique poetics, all of it gently pulsating with a backwoodsy tech-head feel..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.26) - Ranked #26 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Jeff Tweedy suffers personal crisis and pines for innocence lost before eventually arriving at a redemption of sorts."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.73) - Ranked #4 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) (5/02, p.99) - "...Truly, a remarkable record..."
NME (Magazine) (4/20/02, p.22) - 8 out of 10 - "...it's a gripping darkness that doesn't often lift. It's hard going but worth it, and that is undoubtedly their point."
Paste (magazine) - "It's Tweedy's growth as a lyricist that's most arreting....Tweedy alternates subtle and startling twists of phrase to paint pictures of intense longing, wistful nostalgia, moments of pure joy and utter despair."