Critics have compared this multi-part track to previous Wilco epics such as Wilco: The Album
's "Blue Black Nova
." Speaking to Salon
, Jeff Tweedy explained how Wilco build such a soundscape. Said the frontman: "'Art of Almost' started as a completely different song, and through a hodgepodge of approaches and accidents, we ended up with this collage that we spent months and months and months refocusing our eyes on, adding parts and taking parts away. A few things happened pretty early on -- like the drumbeat and the bass line, the pulse of the song -- and that became the core. After that, we could all envision where it could head and where it was going -- it was just patiently, collectively, coming in weeks apart and saying, 'We're going to nail this outro now' or 'Let's make sure the sound cloud that the vocal emerges from is rich enough' or 'The third verse sounds much too similar to the first verse. Let's make it a totally different texture.' It's very rewarding to work that way and make a real studio-sculpture-type collaboration."