Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

Belonging to a generation known for our short attention spans and need for instant gratification, Yo Le Tengo’s latest album, the name of which is too ridiculously long to repeat, was always going to struggle to make it into my heart. With an opening and closing track, each above 10 minutes and a 9-minute instrumental track, it is not what I would normally call my cup of tea. But as I settled down and gave it the time it deserved, I discovered it to be an incredible album. In fact the more I listen to it, the higher it climbs on my list of albums of the year. For me, the strength of this album lies in its diversity. The range of different styles here is amazing and despite its epic 75-minute length, the album remains fresh from start to finish. The sound ranges from piano ballads to distorted garage rock to quirky pop songs to all the in-between. But what is truly impressive is that despite dipping their toes into so many genres, the song writing remains solid. In a way this band reminds me of Belle & Sebastian, not in terms of sound, but in the listening experience. At first I found their music uninviting, boring even, but as I became familiar with all its intricacies, I slowly fell in love. This was the first time I’d ever heard of Yo La Tengo and I was quite surprised to find that it is actually their 10th album! As it turns out, this American 3-piece have been around since 1984 and are renowned for their incredible longevity and consistency. With no previous experience to speak of, I can’t really offer any opinion on how this compares to their previous work, but what I can say is that it is a terrific album that I would recommend to old fans and newcomers alike. Rest assured, I’ll be delving into their back catalogue with great enthusiasm.

The Room Got Heavy – With such diversity, the songs I picked here were never going to give an accurate indication but well I tried my best. This is one of the few songs that caught me early on and saved me from dismissing the album before I realised it’s full potential. It has a quite a funky beat to it and the vocals, which come off as indifferent create a very interesting sound

I Feel Like Going Home – Despite the album containing more songs by the male vocalist, I’ve ended up choosing two female songs. This song highlights the beauty of their slower, piano and string based music, which pops up every now and then.

Also check out Mr Tough on their myspace, it's great!

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