4 years ago. The music sounds cool and distant but Kaplan’s voice and words are warm and seductive. Our top ten Yo La Tengo songs. It’s a slice of bubblegum drenched in noise, from Kaplan’s feedback heavy guitars to the thick organ drone that fills in for the bass. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) Even the guitar solo, which is basically just an unruly clatter fed through who knows how many effects pedals, is tasteful. If you could somehow play a guitar through quicksilver it might sound like this. Built around Hubley’s serene vocals and a stately organ line, “Nowhere Near” is an assured and matter-of-fact love song for adults. Read: If There’s Really a Riot Going On, Yo La Tengo Aren’t Saying What It Is. Okay, maybe I’m biased toward the epics and blow-outs. Album: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000) Yo La Tengo (often abbreviated as YLT) is an American indie rock band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984. Bassist James McNew first played on the 1992 album May I Sing With Me, but Painful was his first album as a full-fledged member. Swans! Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) Painful defined Yo La Tengo in a way no previous album had, but it was on the next album, Electr-O-Pura, that they started to explore in earnest what they were capable of. The series of albums between 1993’s Painful and 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is almost flawless and saw Yo La Tengo grow and challenge themselves in surprising ways. That’s a sign of a good pop song, and on some days “Damage” would maybe land much higher on this list. “Sugarcube” might be the band’s most perfectly crafted pop song. If White Light/White Heat-era Velvet Underground tried to make an AM radio hit, it probably would’ve sounded like “Sugarcube.”. So here’s what Paste decided to do. “Damage” is one of their most delicate songs even though it’s encased in a constant low grade buzz. This slow-burning epic starts off mellow and grows into a surprisingly powerful (and noisy) tour de force. “Blue Line Swinger” almost sums up a 30 year career in just under 10 minutes, starting off fragile and indecisive before growing into a committed roar, with the band’s full complement of tricks— Hubley’s beautifully flat vocals, a freak-out solo, organ drones, “baa baa baas”— supporting a timeless riff. Here’s one of them. Genres: Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Dream Pop. 1 song on our list, “The Story of Yo La Tango” was released more than a decade later, and over 20 years into the band’s career. Sadly One Direction’s song of the same name isn’t a cover. Yo La Tengo originally did Fancy, Smile a Little Smile for Me, Rocket # 9, The Hokey Pokey and other songs. Ira sounds torn apart when he begins to sing as the seconds count down till the end of the record. It turns the modest aspirations of the lyrics, with the band predicting a big day ahead while taking it slow and playing Rolling Stones covers, into an aching ode to making music for the love of making music. One of the album’s better songs was rescued in an EP later that year and given a rollicking rock’n’roll treatment in the vein of “Sugarcube” and the original “Tom Courtenay”. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Yo La Tengo are massive softies: My Heart’s Reflection is one of their many beautiful, rather smoky love songs with half-sung, half-spoken vocals. Album: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000) Kaplan sounds in disbelief that the person he used to think about all the time is now a part of his life, and although it’s easy to assume he’s literally singing about his wife and bandmate, the lyrics are both universal enough and non-committal enough to apply to almost any sort of relationship. “No matter what I’m writing about, I always feel like I’m talking to Georgia and James. There’s no wall of feedback, or anything, but gossamer webs of sound that pulse around a staccato bassline and muted drums. “Barnaby, Hardly Working” is a beautiful droning pop song and the best original the band recorded in the 1980s. The first song on the record, which fans call the slow “Big Day Coming”, is a long, slow, hypnotic lullaby built around a circular organ melody, Kaplan’s whispered vocals and tasteful guitar feedback. If White Light / White Heat era Velvet Underground tried to make an AM radio hit, it probably would’ve sounded like “Sugarcube”. The original album version is a big, anthemic rock song, something you blast from your car with the windows down or pump your fists along to at a concert. Complete your Yo La Tengo collection. The music sounds cool and distant but Kaplan’s voice and words are warm and seductive. Unlike “Big Day Coming”, it’s a toss-up as to which one’s better. REMASTERED IN HD! “Ohm” is a great example of picking an idea and plowing through it until you’ve exhausted all of its possibilities. Sadly One Direction’s song of the same name isn’t a cover. Hubley had sung on Yo La Tengo records before Painful, but “Nowhere Near” was her coming out party. All Rights Reserved, 14. But what makes it great is Hubley’s background vocals. It’s not the best song she’s sung, but it’s her best vocal performance. The discography of Yo La Tengo, an indie rock band based in Hoboken, New Jersey, consists of fifteen studio albums, six compilation albums, fifteen extended plays, twenty two singles, two film score albums, four collaborative albums, and one album of cover songs. Archived. She can devastate without overemoting and while barely budging off a note. The first few times you hear it you may not even register it as a pop song, but it’s a brilliantly fractured take on the kind of restrained, earnest, fundamentally mature-sounding love song that Yo La Tengo have explored many times. “Cornelia and Jane” is a showcase for her heart-breaking voice, which is Yo La Tengo’s greatest instrument. It’s a wordless journey as cathartic as any song with vocals, and has both the loose charm of improvisation and the smartly designed structure of a pop song. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006) Stylistically similar to the No. Like their previous work, Yo La Tengo’s current output sounds gentle and hypnotic. Is this where Yo La Tengo realized how beautiful Georgia Hubley’s voice can be? Freewheeling Yo La Tengo (1) I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (3) Lollapalooza 1995 (1) Maquinaria Festival (1) Painful (1) Popular Songs (21) Reinventing the Wheel tour (4) Save Lounge Ax! (“The Room Got Heavy” sounds so much like an Oneida song that that band eventually covered it.). Fakebookis mostly an album of covers but one of its few originals is also one of the band’s most beloved songs. Album: President Yo La Tengo (1989) After two minutes and change, McNew finally hits a second note, and then a third, and you realize this song actually has parts. “You know, yes, I would say the lyrics that I write are, if I’m not … ” He starts again. In a way it was the unofficial debut of the real Yo La Tengo. Kaplan and Hubley sing the low-key “The Summer” together, but it’s her voice that sticks with me—a simple, pure, honest voice that makes this acoustic gem one of their most touching songs, even if the lyrics are a bit inscrutable. The acoustic version on the Camp Yo La Tengo EP is just as catchy but gorgeously delicate, with one of the best vocal takes of Hubley’s career. Album: Fade (2013) It’s catchy in a classical sense, like something Jackson Browne could’ve written, and it has a bit of edge with the drug references, but it never would’ve gotten played on regular rock stations when it came out. In “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” an almost funky four-note bassline plods along with no variation as torrents of noise from Kaplan’s guitar flood over everything. It’s the kind of slow-burn grower where the songs I love most today, at release, could very easily not be the songs I love most months or years from now. The contrast between Hubley’s voice and the buzz of Kaplan’s guitar somehow makes this song both aching and anthemic at the same time. Album: Fade (2013) Album: Fade (2013) Shakers, handclaps and Hubley’s mechanical drumming keep the ship afloat and rhythmically enriched. Yo La Tengo have a lot of quiet songs. Ole 856-2; CD). Album: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006) Album: President Yo La Tengo (1989) It was an immediate sign that they weren’t the same band anymore. This week! It is their 7th album released on Matador and the eighth album to be given Matador's Buy Early Get Now treatment. Album: Painful (1993) “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind”, 3. There’s nothing flashy here but it’s one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard. It’s maybe the earliest of Yo La Tengo’s shoegazery attempts, a good year or so after that fad had died in England, and maybe that’s why it’s a bit chillier than the rest of Painful. It’s a jaunty little number built around multiple organ lines, a dance beat and unusually upbeat vocals from Hubley. (1) Spin-The-Wheel (1) Spinning Wheel Tour (2) Stuff Like That There (1) Stuff Like That There (Acoustic with Dave Schramm) (39) Summer Sun (1) The series of albums between 1993’s Painful and 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is almost flawless and saw the band grow and challenge itself in surprising ways. Album: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000) And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out can seem like a downer at first—other than “Teenage Riot” sound-alike “Cherry Chapstick,” it’s an album full of quiet, understated, bittersweet love songs. Yo La Tengo were already indie rock veterans when Painful first came out. “Nothing to Hide” is pure bubblegum buried deep beneath guitar fuzz, and one of the most infectious songs the band has ever written. Kaplan and Hubley have a great knack for writing love songs that are tender and poignant but never schmaltzy. It shows up like a sunbeam about two-thirds of the way through another gorgeous, low-key Hubley love song. These aren’t complaints, though, as it’s a classic rocker and a winning stylistic exercise. It’s one of those pop songs that sounds effortless. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) Listen free to Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs (Here to Fall, Avalon or Someone Very Similar and more). 2009’s “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven” might have the strongest such influence, and more than anything else in the band’s repertoire sounds like something that could be on a My Bloody Valentine album. Album: President Yo La Tengo (1989) Yo La Tengo burst back after 2003’s middling Summer Sun with one of their most powerful jams ever. You know those songs that sound so sad that they pretty much always make you sad, but are so beautiful and moving that you still can’t stop listening to them? There’s nothing flashy here but it’s one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard. “Cornelia and Jane” is a showcase for her heart-breaking voice, which is Yo La Tengo’s greatest instrument. Toch is de aanhang van de band langdurig en gestaag groeiend en speelt de band vandaag de … Most bands eventually coast on the goodwill of their early work, but Yo La Tengo has remained vital into its fourth decade. The next year they released their breakout record Painful on Matador, a partnership that endures to this day. Yo La Tengo kept getting better throughout the 1990s. In the original version of this list I wrote that Painful is where their “disparate influences congealed into a fully formed style of the band’s own, from early ‘60s folk and pop to the post-Velvets diaspora of noise and punk,” and that’s still a good summation. The restraint is remarkable, especially since Kaplan routinely plays guitar like he’s one of those weird air-balloon creatures at a used car sale. To mark the release of the Jersey trio's 15th album, we dig into their catalog for the best of the best. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) Yo La Tengo covered Fancy, Smile a Little Smile for Me, Rocket # 9, The Hokey Pokey and other songs. With Extra Painful taking over our turntables this month, let’s look back at the band’s best songs. I didn’t put it at the top of the list, but I’ve easily listened to this song more than anything else Yo La Tengo has ever recorded. They’re mostly just wordless ahhhhs, but it’s a crucial element that elevates the whole song and also points to what will become one of the band’s most defining sounds. They don’t have a lot of songs that do both, and the best one in that small subset is this song from Electr-O-Pura. On the Fade album closer, stuttering percussion, guitar washes and tasteful horns gently blur together with Hubley and Kaplan’s understated vocals into a minor triumph. Bookmark Removed. Hubley had sung on Yo La Tengo records before Painful, but “Nowhere Near” was her coming out party. This hauntingly beautiful bummer of a song could be a lost country classic exhumed by these noted historians of pop music, but it’s just another Yo La Tengo original aimed to break your heart with Hubley’s pristine voice. They had experimented with noise in the past, but this was the album where they truly started to integrate their folk tendencies with their noise explorations. They reached an early peak with “I Heard You Looking,” the final song on 1993’s Painful, and a piece they still regularly play at concerts today. And if you’re somehow wondering who these Yo La Tengo cats are in the first place, well, they’re a rock band—a really good rock band. Released 8 September 2009 on Matador (catalog no. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) Like “Motel 6”, they’ve had the occasional song over the years that could be classified as “shoegaze”. They are masters of both sweet pop simplicity and lengthy guitar drones. Album: Electr-O-Pura / Camp Yo La Tengo EP (1995) Like most of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, this song avoids the noise and distortion and focuses on ethereal organ and acoustic guitar strums, underpinned with brushed drums and McNew’s bass melodies, as Kaplan sings about the early days of his relationship with Hubley. F ar from content to rest on their laurels as an institution in the world of indie rock, Yo La Tengo continue to challenge themselves on their 12th album, Popular Songs.What makes the album work is the tension between the band’s ongoing embrace of conventional pop song structures and their drive to experiment with novel soundscapes and genre influences. These aren’t complaints, though, as it’s a classic rocker and a winning stylistic exercise. Stylistically similar to the number one song on our list, “The Story of Yo La Tango” was released more than a decade later, and over twenty years into the band’s career. After a few fine but faceless college rock albums in the 1980s, Yo La Tengo revealed a masterful ability to unite melody and noise near the end of the decade. There’s a hint of Suicide’s minimal dread in that organ tone, along with the psychedelic paranoia of Oneida. “Blue Line Swinger” nearly sums up a 30+ year career in just under 10 minutes, starting off fragile and indecisive before growing into a committed roar, with the band’s full complement of tricks—Hubley’s beautifully flat vocals, a freak-out solo, organ drones, “baa baa baas”—supporting a timeless riff. It's officially “Autumn Sweater” season — both the garment and the 1997 Yo La Tengo song. All Rights Reserved, If There’s Really a Riot Going On, Yo La Tengo Aren’t Saying What It Is, 14. Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) It’s a wordless journey as cathartic as any song with vocals, and has both the loose charm of improvisation and the smartly designed structure of a pop song. With the release of the band’s 15th album, There’s a Riot Going On, last week, the time was right to reappraise the trio’s discography and see what 20 songs would make it onto such a list in 2018. The solo on “Pablo and Andrea” is surprisingly straight-forward, and almost has the lilt of a pedal steel. Painful defined Yo La Tengo in a way no previous album had, but it was on the next album, Electr-O-Pura, that they started to explore in earnest what they were capable of. Instead of reconstructing my top 20 list, I’ve expanded it to a top 40, spanning the entirety of Yo La Tengo’s 30-plus-year career. Built around an organ, a shaker and two drum kits, “Autumn Sweater” is austere but rhythmically and emotionally rich. If someone else happens to be listenin… The droning first song on Fade piles three-way harmonies, assorted guitar crust and pop song doot-doot-doots over a one-chord chugger driven by Hubley’s simple beat. The best of them is “Little Eyes,” one of the few songs to break through the bland uniformity of the record’s production. No other Yo La Tengo song quite sounds like this one, making it a standout on what was already their most musically diverse album. It’s a lengthy, swirling, two-chord drone with barely whispered vocals from Kaplan. Thus ends another perfect Yo La Tengo album---their third, by the way---and thus ends any objectivity I’ve tried to establish with this review. What are the best Yo La Tengo songs? The night's still early: listen to the 40 best songs of Yo La Tengo. “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind”, 3. Their newest record was mostly created in the studio, with the band jamming extensively and then whittling that work down into semi-recognizable songs. Album: Painful (1993) Painful is where Yo La Tengo really came into their own, and mid-album track “Sudden Organ” introduced what became a longstanding subgenre of Yo La Tengo songs: heavy freakouts on one of those old ‘60s electric organs that can sound like a thick, impregnable monolith when played properly. Genres: Indie Rock, Indie Pop. Hubley’s steady beat keeps the whole thing together. Album: Popular Songs (2009) The band’s first decade saw a constantly shifting line-up around the core of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, the guitarist and drummer who share songwriting and singing duties. It’s an ambient delight. This song though is one of the many closers by Yo La Tengo to occupy the list as it is one of their best. On an album heavy with drum machines and a watery, gurgling sound that floods out every track, “Little Eyes” is almost a straight-up rocker, with live drums and a chugging bass cutting through the glacial sheen of Kaplan’s guitar shimmer. Popular Songs, an Album by Yo La Tengo. Kaplan’s guitar eventually gets louder and more erratic, colliding with the rhythm at odd angles and in clusters of notes that sound like they’re collapsing. It’s been 25 years since Fakebook, the record where Yo La Tengo first released this song. Album: Painful (1993) Painful is almost bookended by two versions of “Big Day Coming.” There’s a noisier, rocking take before the album’s final song that has an ersatz shoegaze vibe similar to “From a Motel 6.” That’s not the version we’re talking about here. Here is a list of Yo La Tengo's six best cover songs. Hell, they were already indie rock veterans when people were still calling it college rock, with a history that stretches back to 1984. Since forming in 1984, this trio has remained one of indie music's most reliably lovable bands. If you want, feel free to imagine Casey Kasem’s unforgettable voice counting down each song as you read through this thing, in what would’ve been the best episode of American Top 40 ever. About halfway through its seven or so minutes, Kaplan unleashes another one of his splattering guitar solos, and although it’s no less unhinged that what you expect from him, it stays fully alongside the song’s deliberate groove, which makes it notably slower than his typical skull-bursting solos. Painful was also the first album where Yo La Tengo’s disparate influences congealed into a fully formed style of the band’s own, from early ‘60’s folk and pop to the post-Velvets diaspora of noise and punk. This gorgeous instrumental, driven by the sound of crickets and a quiet egg shaker, captures the wonder of sitting on a porch on a lazy summer night while idly plucking a guitar. 12 tracks (72:32). Built around an organ, a shaker and two drum kits, “Autumn Sweater” is austere but rhythmically and emotionally rich. I'm guessing You Can Have It All is left off the list because it's a cover, even though it's one of my favourite things Yo La Tengo has ever done. Albums include I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, and Painful. Just over three years ago, I wrote about Yo La Tengo’s 20 best songs. With its textures and polyrhythms “Autumn Sweater” sounded like a love song written by Tortoise when it came out in 1997. Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) They have a lot of songs that sound like improvisational jams. A spiritual successor to Painful’s “Sudden Organ” (you can find that particular chestnut at no. It’s one of those pop songs that sounds effortless. It’s sleek, from Kaplan’s jet-stream guitars to the almost spoken harmonies to the basic song structure. Our top ten Yo La Tengo songs. Amongst many highlights was Mr Tough which was stunning. It’s maybe the earliest of their shoegazery attempts, a good year or so after that fad had died in England, and maybe that’s why it’s a bit chillier than the rest of Painful. The first song on the record, which fans call the “slow Big Day Coming,” is a long, hypnotic lullaby built around a circular organ melody, Kaplan’s whispered vocals and tasteful guitar feedback. Each version strongly evokes different emotions, even though the lyrics, about a fictional movie starring Courtney and Julie Christie, avoid any sort of emotional reflection. At the moment “For You Too” has made the best impression; sure, it’s the closest to a conventional pop song on the record, but like “Little Eyes,” it brings a sense of structure and motion to a record that otherwise threatens to drift away. Occasionally Kaplan hits a discordant note, or lets out a guitar squeal, or otherwise adds an unexpected bit of emphasis to what he’s playing. It’s a miniature epic of ethereal noise, with Kaplan and Hubley harmonizing over his heavily processed guitar and McNew’s loping bassline for three blissful minutes, before launching into one of Kaplan’s noisiest and most volcanic guitar solos. Album: Fakebook (1990) Fakebook is mostly an album of covers but one of its few originals is also one of the band’s most beloved songs. The acoustic version on the Camp Yo La Tengo EP is just as catchy but gorgeously delicate, with one of the best vocal takes of Hubley’s career. It’s significantly better than any 12-minute song about rock clubs misspelling a band’s name should probably be. The original album version is a big, anthemic rock song, something you blast from your car with the windows down or pump your fists along to at a concert. They reached an early peak with “I Heard You Looking”, the final song on 1993’s Painful, and a piece they still regularly play at concerts today. It’s a lengthy, swirling, two-chord drone with barely whispered vocals from Kaplan. It’s not like it celebrates drugs, though—when Kaplan sings “I wish I was high”, he’s depressed, nerdy and resigned, interested less in feeling good than in not feeling bad anymore. James McNew’s bass and Georgia Hubley’s drums are admirably patient, settling into a hushed, one-note groove while Ira Kaplan plays a gossamer guitar figure and sings in a near whisper. Fakebook is mostly an album of covers but one of its few originals is also one of the band’s most beloved songs. Yo La Tengo burst back after 2003’s middling Summer Sun with one of their most powerful jams ever. Record: Shaker single (1993) It's not perfect. Yo La Tengo’s second EP in recent months finds them resuming their covers jukebox niche, weaving together selections as unlikely as a 1940s blues oddity and as recognizable as a … It’s melodic yet noisy and one of the first Yo La Tengo songs that sounds fully like the band that released albums like Painful and I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. It’s a slice of bubblegum drenched in noise, from Kaplan’s feedback heavy guitars to the thick organ drone that fills in for the bass. © 2020 Paste Media Group. “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House” (named after a Simpsons joke) is one of the exceptions. Since 1992 the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals), and James McNew It’s less of a song than a blurry, indistinct impression of a song, but it’s something I could listen to dozens of times in a row. And then 2003’s Summer Sun halted that momentum with a listless set of meandering songs. That’d be a tall order for any band. Painful is almost bookended by two versions of “Big Day Coming.” There’s a noisier, rocking take before the album’s final song that has an ersatz shoegaze vibe similar to “From a Motel 6.” That’s not the version we’re talking about here. It’s sleek, from Kaplan’s jetstream guitars to the almost spoken harmonies to the basic song structure. Album: Painful (1993) After a few fine but faceless college-rock albums in the 1980s, Yo La Tengo revealed a masterful ability to unite melody and noise near the end of the decade. The central lyric, “I wanna see my heart’s reflection in your eyes”, couldn’t be less guarded, but Kaplan visibly squirms when I ask if it is about his love for Hubley. Its tone and production resembles Summer Sun, but with more of a spark to it—instead of feeling overproduced and relatively listless, as that album did, it’s endearingly and quizzically shaggy, proudly wearing its improvisational inspiration on its sleeve. In the liner notes of the CD reissue of the band’s first album, Ride the Tiger, Kaplan wrote about the band’s “timid folk-rock souls.” The first song on their third album isn’t a clean break from the college rock of Ride the Tiger, which was proficient but unspectacular and has aged relatively poorly compared to the rest of their catalogue, but its clean guitar and bouncy bass are underlined with a looping guitar squeal that plays throughout the entire song. Georgia Hubley’s voice might be flat but it isn’t affectless. Obviously, the final three tracks are meant to divide listeners and add a sense of daring to an otherwise relatively safe album, and that I like them all---along with every other song on Popular Songs ---isn’t going to be something that’s universal. Hubley sings the title almost wordlessly, arcing the melody above a great guitar hook and a stolid bass line, finding tenderness within the noise. Most bands eventually coast on the goodwill of their early work, but Yo La Tengo have remained vital into their fourth decade. “Sugarcube” might be the band’s most perfectly crafted pop song. Close. Kaplan and Hubley sing the low-key “The Summer” together, but it’s her voice that sticks with me, a simple, pure, honest voice that makes this acoustic gem one of their most touching songs, even if the lyrics are a bit inscrutable. Yo La Tengo turned 30 this year and just released a double-sized reissue of their 1993 album Painful. I hope people in 2014 know who Tortoise are. Album: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006) This early song is a catchy folk tune with pop hooks (think brushed drums and an acoustic guitar playing an ascending three-note major chord riff) and Dylan-esque vocals from Kaplan. Nope, this isn’t a cover. It’s an immediate sign that they weren’t the same band anymore. before coasting into a uptempo pop song built around a tunefully overdriven guitar riff and Hubley’s hushed vocals, which are buried in the mix. Album: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006) If Yo La Tengo broke up in 1989 this would’ve been the song most likely to pop up on a Rhino college rock compilation. Again, they’re a really good rock band, and these are their 40 best songs. “Barnaby, Hardly Working” is a beautiful droning pop song and the best original the band recorded in the 1980s. Painful was an important milestone for the band, though, and not just because it was their highest profile release at the time or their first sustained artistic success. (For accuracy’s sake it could’ve been called “one man’s 20 favorite Yo La Tengo songs,” but that wouldn’t work as well on Google.) In a way this is almost like its own small, self-contained mission statement for Yo La Tengo’s entire career. Yo La Tengo made a major creative leap forward with 1992's May I Sing with Me, where their yin-and-yang mix of quiet and loud finally began to work as well as it was meant to, but 1993's Painful was where they truly hit their stride, their first album to confirm they were one of the best independent bands extant. Message Bookmarked. “Tom Courtenay” / “Tom Courtenay (Acoustic)”. Album: Fade (2013) 28. I’ve listened to this song more than anything else Yo La Tengo have ever recorded. In “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” an almost funky four-note bassline plods along with no variation as torrents of noise from Kaplan’s guitar floods over everything. They’re about as likely to play a three-minute pop gem as they are a forlorn folk song, a 10-minute one-note drone, a cover of a classic hit from the ‘70s, or a crazed, 20-minute noise jam. It might sound weird to commend the restraint of a band that’s partially known for very long jams and almost comical contortions during Kaplan’s unhinged guitar solos, but there’s always been a strong streak of restraint running through the band, and “Our Way to Fall” is a fantastic example of that. List of the best Yo La Tengo songs, ranked by fans like you. Yo La Tengo occupy an interesting place in the world of indie rock, and I state this fully aware of the precarious implications of the term “the world of indie rock.” By all accounts, it is too vague to mean anything at all, though perhaps that’s why it’s a fitting term to frame Yo La Tengo. 1 year ago. This WFMU marathon version has Yo La Tengo being demoted to … Kaplan sounds in disbelief that the person he used to think about all the time is now a part of his life, and although it’s easy to assume he’s literally singing about his wife and bandmate the lyrics are both universal enough and non-committal enough to apply to almost any sort of relationship the listener has in mind. She can devastate without overemoting and while barely budging off a note. Album: Painful (1993) Built around Hubley’s serene vocals and a stately organ line, “Nowhere Near” is an assured and matter-of-fact love song for adults. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs at Discogs. The solo on “Pablo and Andrea” is surprisingly straight-forward, and almost has the lilt of a pedal steel. He invited Yo La Tengo to his high school graduation because they were playing a show in town that night. Hubley sings the title almost wordlessly, arcing the melody above a great guitar hook and a stolid bassline, finding tenderness within the noise. This McNew-sung number bears a sonic similarity to Pet Sounds. McNew, who has released a few albums of tender four-track pop under the name Dump, first took lead on a Yo La Tengo album with “Stockholm Syndrome.” The concert favorite is a warm and tightly written look at romantic confusion, sung with McNew’s Neil Young-ish high-pitched sigh of a voice. Even the guitar solo, which is basically just an unruly clatter fed through who knows how many effects pedals, is tasteful. While the cover songs and Schramm's curling guitar might resemble the folk-tinged quartet that debuted with a self-released single in 1985, Yo La Tengo have been many places in … Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) It starts with Hubley’s soft voice in “Decora” floating atop a wash of guitar that has enough distortion and tremolo on it to pass for something off Loveless. Like “Motel 6,” they’ve had the occasional song over the years that could be classified as “shoegaze”. Let us know your favorites in the comments, or better yet, send your comment to Yo La Tengo and see if the band will reinterpret it for you. Popular Songs is the twelfth full-length album by Hoboken-based rock band Yo La Tengo, released digitally, on CD, and double LP on September 8, 2009. And then 2003’s Summer Sun halted that momentum with a listless set of meandering songs. While the songs from Fade on the list are indeed the highlights of the album, I personally don't find them to be greater than many of the songs left off the list. Electr-O-Pura is my favorite. It starts with a lengthy instrumental intro that isn’t far removed from R.E.M. It’s more than just the presence of strings and horns—it’s McNew’s voice, the echo of the drums, that combination of wide-eyed positivity and silent, internal sadness. One of the album’s better efforts was rescued in an EP later that year and given a rollicking rock ’n’ roll treatment in the vein of “Sugarcube” and the original “Tom Courtenay.” The contrast between Hubley’s voice and the buzz of Kaplan’s guitar somehow makes this song both aching and anthemic at the same time. “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven”, 12. Like “Big Day Coming”, the band has released multiple versions of “Tom Courtenay”, one of their most popular songs. There’s not a lot of common ground between the two songs on Electr-O-Pura subtitled “Hot Chicken.” Whereas “Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)” is a pulsing rock dirge with bursts of noise, “Don’t Say a Word” is an aching love song with almost wordless vocals from Hubley and no percussion. Unlike “Big Day Coming,” it’s a toss-up as to which one’s better. But we’re talking about one song here, not the whole album, and “Detouring America With Horns,” the first song on the record, didn’t necessarily let the listener know what was in store for them. “Damage” is one of their most delicate songs even though it’s encased in a constant low-grade buzz. Yo La Tengo (1984, Hoboken, New Jersey) is een Amerikaanse indierockband.. De albums van Yo La Tengo zijn altijd gekenmerkt door lovende recensies gecombineerd met lage verkoopcijfers. This slow-burning epic starts off mellow and grows into a surprisingly powerful (and noisy) tour de force. Yo La Tengo kept getting better throughout the 1990s. Earlier this month Matador released Extra Painful, a double-sized edition of Yo La Tengo’s 1993 breakthrough Painful. There was a problem, though: That top 20 is exactly the same as it was in 2014. The bad vibes are heavy on this 1993 single, which features a doom-laden, wayward riff from overdriven bass and guitar, occasional backward guitar flourishes, a drum beat that seems to be building to nothing in particular, and an out-of-nowhere outro that ends as abruptly as it starts. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) There’s a Riot Going On is a good one, but so far none of its songs have bumped off any of my absolute favorites. Just over three years ago, I wrote about Yo La Tengo’s 20 best songs. Georgia Hubley’s voice might be flat but it isn’t affectless. © 2020 Paste Media Group. It starts with Hubley’s soft voice on “Decora” floating atop a wash of guitar that has enough distortion and tremolo on it to pass for something off My BLoody Valentine’s Loveless. “From a Motel 6” might have a downmarket name but it seems “classy” in a way most of the band’s stuff isn’t, like it should soundtrack a Virgin Air flight or a W Hotel lobby. “Tom Courtenay” / “Tom Courtenay (Acoustic)”. And yeah, go ahead and listen along, if you’d like; I did while I was writing this. It’s not just the room that got heavy—the multiple organ parts in this song are thick, unrelenting blasts of sound smothering the polyrhythms kicked up by a stripped-down drum set and some hand percussion. Perfect time to look at their 20 best songs. Get Yo La Tengo setlists - view them, share them, discuss them with other Yo La Tengo fans for free on setlist.fm! 2009’s “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven” might have the strongest such influence, and more than anything else in the band’s repertoire sounds like something that could be on a My Bloody Valentine album. Posted by. Album: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997) Bassist James McNew, who has released a few albums of tender four-track pop under the name Dump, first took lead on a Yo La Tengo album with “Stockholm Syndrome.” The concert favorite is a warm and tightly written look at romantic confusion, sung with McNew’s Neil Young-ish high-pitched sigh of a voice. Saw them in Brighton last night. It aims for icy cool but it can’t hide the band’s fundamental warmth. Yo La Tengo discography and songs: Music profile for Yo La Tengo, formed 1984. Okay, maybe I’m biased towards the epics and blow-outs. I hope people in 2018 know who Tortoise are. If Yo La Tengo broke up in 1989 this would’ve been the song most likely to pop up on a Rhino college-rock compilation. Album: Popular Songs (2009) The video for this short pop blurt starred the now-defunct lo-fi faves Times New Viking masquerading as Yo La Tengo, which made perfect sense: At a time when incredibly noisy, incredibly catchy pop songs were making a major comeback among the record collector set, Yo La Tengo whipped up “Nothing to Hide” to remind everybody that they’d perfected this particular type of song decades before. The husband-wife team of guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley started the band in Hoboken in 1984, and released four albums with a variety of partners and sidemen and on a handful of labels before incorporating bassist James McNew on the 1992 full-length May I Sing With Me. “From a Motel 6” might have a downmarket name but it seems “classy” in a way most of the band’s stuff isn’t, like it should soundtrack a Virgin Air flight or a W Hotel lobby. Each version strongly evokes different emotions, even though the lyrics, about a fictional movie starring Tom Courtney and Julie Christie, avoid any sort of emotional reflection. Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) It sounds a bit like the somber, ghostly folk music of Jackson C. Frank, but with some muted organ drones and high bass notes keeping it aloft. Album: Today Is the Day EP (2003) 24 below), “False Alarm” is another rhythm-heavy, overdriven organ jam, with Kaplan pounding out the indie-rock equivalent of Cecil Taylor’s nontraditional piano chords over Hubley and McNew’s steady rhythms. As with “Big Day Coming,” the Yo La Tengo have released multiple versions of “Tom Courtenay,” one of their most popular songs. Gossamer webs of sound that pulse around a staccato bassline and muted drums. It’s not like it celebrates drugs, though when Kaplan sings “I wish I was high,” he’s depressed, nerdy and resigned, interested less in feeling good than in not feeling bad anymore. I don’t know if “Drug Test” was a college radio hit in 1989 but it should’ve been. Album: Electr-O-Pura (1995) I was expecting to miss the horns (or be disappointed by a keyboard-replica of them) but the song is easily strong enough to stand up without their embellishment. Shakers, handclaps and Hubley’s mechanical drumming keep the ship afloat and rhythmically enriched. It’s significantly better than any twelve-minute song about rock clubs misspelling a band’s name should probably be. I'm happy that Blue Line Swinger and Nowhere Near made the top 10, but I think overall if you include the top 20 you have a pretty balanced list of YLT's best … It aims for icy cool but it can’t hide the band’s fundamental warmth. It’s catchy in a classical sense, like something Jackson Browne could’ve written, and it has a bit of edge with the drug references, but it never would’ve gotten played on regular rock stations when it came out. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass. And they do it all with the same level of proficiency, confidence and humility. The typical Kaplan guitar solo takes the sort of guitar lines you’d expect from a traditional pop song and turns them into free-jazz skronk. The restraint is remarkable, especially since Kaplan routinely plays guitar like he’s one of those weird air balloon creatures at a used car sale. Garrett Martin edits Paste’s games section. Compiled here are 15 (or so) essential Yo La Tengo songs, which mostly coincide with the band's best, though not exactly. The typical Kaplan guitar solo takes the sort of guitar lines you’d expect from a traditional pop song and turns them into free jazz skronk. The subtle electronics of the song build up like a volcano until the roof of it pops off. (C) 2006 Universal Music Latino #Juanes #LaCamisaNegra #Remastered Album: Summer Sun (2003) Summer Sun is a bit of a letdown from the great run of albums the band put out throughout the ‘90s, but it has a few highlights. I don’t know if “Drug Test” was a college radio hit in 1989 but it should’ve been. It shows up like a sunbeam about two-thirds of the way through another gorgeous, low-key Hubley love song. TheRealYLT. It’s not the best song she’s sung, but it’s her best vocal performance. “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven”, 12. With its textures and polyrhythms “Autumn Sweater” sounded like a love song written by Tortoise when it came out in 1997. Yo La Tengo lyrics - 225 song lyrics sorted by album, including "Swing For Life", "Roll On Babe", "Can't Forget". He never got a response. It’s less of a song than a blurry, indistinct impression of a song, but it’s something I could listen to dozens of times in a row. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs: Amazon.nl Selecteer uw cookievoorkeuren We gebruiken cookies en vergelijkbare tools om uw winkelervaring te verbeteren, onze services aan te bieden, te begrijpen hoe klanten onze services gebruiken zodat we verbeteringen … It turns the modest aspirations of the lyrics, with the band predicting a big day ahead while taking it slow and playing Rolling Stone covers, into an aching ode to making music for the love of making music. And although they’re rightfully celebrated for their covers, we’re only going to look at songs the band wrote. Album: There’s a Riot Going On (2018) Music video by Juanes performing La Camisa Negra. Album: May I Sing With Me (1992) May I Sing With Me is a transitional record in the band’s discography. It has its dull moments. In the liner notes of the CD reissue of the band’s first album, Ride the Tiger, Kaplan wrote about the trio’s “timid folk-rock souls.” The first song on their third album isn’t a clean break from the college rock of Ride the Tiger, which was proficient but unspectacular and has aged relatively poorly compared to the rest of their catalogue, but its clean guitar and bouncy bass are underlined with a looping guitar squeal. If you could somehow play a guitar through quicksilver it might sound like this. 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