Yo La Tengo's Popular Songs: A Diverse and Rewarding Album
Yo La Tengo are one of the most consistently creative and versatile bands in indie rock, with a career spanning over 25 years and 12 albums. Their latest release, Popular Songs, showcases their ability to blend different genres and styles, from soulful strings to fuzzy guitars, from dreamy pop to epic noise. Whether you are a longtime fan or a curious newcomer, you will find something to enjoy in this album.
The album opens with \"Here to Fall\", a dark and dramatic track that features electric piano and cinematic strings reminiscent of Isaac Hayes. The song sets a somber tone, as Ira Kaplan sings \"I know you're worried/ I'm worried too.\" But the mood soon shifts to more upbeat and colorful songs, such as \"Avalon or Someone Very Similar\", a psychedelic pop tune with Georgia Hubley's airy vocals, and \"Nothing to Hide\", a catchy fuzz-pop anthem that recalls their earlier work.
One of the strengths of Yo La Tengo is their ability to create atmospheric and emotional songs that draw you in with their subtle details and textures. \"By Two's\" is a perfect example, a droning keyboard ballad that evokes the late-night dreaminess of their 2000 masterpiece And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Another highlight is \"When It's Dark\", a gentle country-tinged song that features James McNew on lead vocals and harmonica.
The album closes with three long and adventurous tracks that showcase Yo La Tengo's experimental side. \"More Stars Than There Are in Heaven\" is a slow-burning epic that builds from a simple guitar melody to a soaring climax. \"The Fireside\" is a 11-minute instrumental that shifts from ambient sounds to krautrock rhythms to feedback squalls. And \"And the Glitter Is Gone\" is a 16-minute noise jam that tests the limits of your speakers and your patience.
Popular Songs is an album that lives up to its title, in the sense that it offers a wide range of songs that appeal to different tastes and moods. Yo La Tengo have once again proven that they are not afraid to explore new territories and challenge themselves, while staying true to their core identity. It is an album that deserves your attention and admiration.
Yo La Tengo are not only masters of musical diversity, but also of lyrical depth and wit. Their songs often deal with themes of love, fear, uncertainty, and hope, sometimes with a touch of humor or irony. For example, \"Periodically Double or Triple\" is a funky organ-driven song that mocks the self-help industry and its clichÃs: \"Don't forget to brush your teeth/ Don't forget to breathe/ Don't forget to turn off the oven/ When you're done making love to me.\" On the other hand, \"If It's True\" is a sincere and tender ballad that expresses doubt and devotion: \"If it's true what I heard about you/ I don't think I could take it/ But if it's true what you say you feel/ Then maybe we can make it.\"
The album also features some bonus tracks that are worth checking out. One of them is a cover of Carole King's classic \"You've Got a Friend\", which Yo La Tengo transform into a lo-fi indie rock anthem with distorted guitars and drums. Another one is a live version of \"Here to Fall\", recorded at WFMU radio station in New Jersey, which adds some extra intensity and energy to the studio version.
Popular Songs is a testament to Yo La Tengo's longevity and creativity, as well as their love for music and each other. The album is available for streaming and download on various platforms, such as Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Qobuz. You can also buy the compact disc or vinyl edition from Matador Records or your local record store. If you are looking for an album that will surprise you, challenge you, and comfort you, look no further than Popular Songs by Yo La Tengo. ec8f644aee